We all have our names. As they go, mine is pretty unique.
Polly Cecile Kronenberger
My confirmation name is Constance.
In all that is 32 letters of names. Longer than the alphabet.
Polly is my true name too, at least, the one that appears on my Birth Certificate. I get that question, from time to time: “But what is your real name?”
In so far as I know, I was not named after anyone. Or for any good purpose. I had 6 brothers and sisters who came into this world before me. They were allowed to choose my name. I suppose my parents had snarky senses of humor. They went along with the joke.
But sometimes, we aren’t aware of people’s real names. Especially in the world of fiction and make-believe. That’s what novel reading is, really. Make Believe. Isn’t that a great term in itself? We should do it more often, if you ask me. Make Believe. We can “make” anything we want with our thoughts. Anything at all. And after we make it, we sure as heck can believe in it too.
That’s one great part of writing fiction too. Making up the stories, the places, the situations, the names. And some of those characters have the names we all “know” and then they have their real names.
Like Cap’n Crunch. That’s how we all know him. But. His friends all call him Horatio Magellan Crunch. And, he is the captain of the S.S. Guppy.
Or how about that Pillsbury Dough Boy? His real name is Poppin’ Fresh. It sounds a little bit like he is some gangsta rapper. On the contrary, Poppin’ Fresh is a family man. He has a wife, Poppie Fresh. They have two kids, Popper and Bun Bun. And they love their four-legged pets. The family cat and dog are named Biscuit and Flapjack.
It has been a while since I’ve played it, but the Monopoly game has an entire cast of characters too. The cop. The one with the whistle in his mouth all the time. He is Officer Edgar Mallory. He will tell you to Go to Jail. Go Directly to Jail.
And the Monopoly guy in the top hat with the terrific white mustache? The Monopoly millionaire? He is Milburn Pennybags. His wife is Madge Pennybags. These days, there could be a real twist on the game if you called them Nickel or Dime Bags.
Since we are talking about guys in top hats, I may as well mention Mr. Peanut.
His real name is Bartholomew Richard Fitzgerald-Smythe. As it goes, there was a contest by Planter’s back in 1914 to come up with a mascot. The winner was a 14-year old kid, named Antonio Gentile. He created the peanut-guy. He named him too.
Finally, I have to talk about the Michelin Man. I can’t hear his name without thinking about the scene in the 1984 Ghostbusters Movie. Of course, then, it always conjures thoughts of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Not to mention, once again, the Pillsbury Doughboy. Those three make up a trio of white-ish, pluffy, mascot creepiness, if you ask me. Anyway, the Michelin Man’s real name is Bibendum. In Latin, the word means “to drink.” I don’t know what that has to do with tires, but the Michelin Brothers had a healthy appetite for wine.
So there you have it.
Our names. They are typically a word or set of words by which a person, animal, place, or thing is known, addressed, or referred to.
What we are called, when we are called.
But, after seeing what you’ve seen here, you must always remember.
No matter who it is.
Deep inside everyone.
There might be another name.
“It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.”
― W.C. Fields
“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
― William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
“The menu is not the meal.”
― Alan Watts