Saturday, May 27, 2006

What's in a name?

When I was young I wanted to change my name to Wolfgang. I REALLY wanted to change my name to Wolfgang.

In hindsight, I really don't know why I thought this was a good idea, but I was pretty dead-set on it. I was about ready to rock up to the deed-poll office and... well, get them to cross out 'Tim' and write 'Wolfgang' on all my school books.

Then at some point, common sense came up, ripped off my arm, and hit me with the wet end.

Tim I remained.

Sometimes I wistfully think what life would've been like as a Wolfgang. A bit twatish, probably; I expect people would always be taking the piss.

Anyway, someone asked me the other day what I would be called if I'd been given the chance to name myself.

"Raoul," I replied without batting an eyelid.

WHOA! Where the hell did that come from? But there's something to be said for letting your subconscious do the talking. Raoul, let's face it, is a pretty funky name. And certainly a bit more user friendly than Wolfgang in everyday situations.

Also on the plus side, it suggests something a bit ... dangerous? Exotic? Ooo - 'mysterious' (d'ya like the quotes? I thought that made mysterious seem a little bit more, well, er, mysterious...)

People would say "Hey Raoul," and I'd nod in their direction in a dangerous, exotic, and mysterious manner. And they'd feel blessed that Raoul had deigned to acknowledge them.

(I subsequently realised that Raoul probably came from listening to The Automatic a bit too much, if anyone cares)

But to bring this full circle, Yaz and I were tubing it up town this evening on our way to see X-Men: The Last Stand (last stand my arse), when I overheard some random numpty say "I'm thinking of changing my name."

I nearly said "me too!" but then his conversation took a really bizarre turn.

"Yeah, I know some guy who changed his name to Megatron."

Now that's just silly. Unless Megatron is a Transformer, that is.

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