I have met many people in my life, with many names. But I have never met a Trixie, a Bubbles, or a Brandi.
I don’t know whether to rejoice or grieve. The names sound fast, exciting, expensive, and ever-so-slightly disreputable. I’m named Dick and am none of those things. It would be a clash of personalities.
I was not always a Dick. I was a Richie for a great many years, as my father was Dick. At school I was always Richie or Richard ( a special honour ) but never Rick or Ricky. I put this down again to personality – those two variants of the name were associated with pop stars or TV idols who were portrayed as cool and hip. No-one ever thought me cool or even looked at my hips – not even physicians.
I did progress as an undergraduate to Mr. Stein. It could be said with a hiss of disapproval even through a surgical mask. Instructors and lecturers liked to hiss, as it was closer to their native tongue, which in many cases was forked. I was still able to retain the Mr. when I graduated and went into practice, as our state adhered to the British practice of a not applying Dr. to dental surgeons. The Mr. part of it was supposed to cover the distinction between us and the physicians. That and the fact that we could write legibly.
In later years the commercial urgers of the Dental Association started applying the honorific of Dr. to all of us, even if we did not possess a doctorate. The European and Asian migrant patients had always done so – I rather liked it as it could be used to get the attention of desk clerks in German hotels. You could go a great way on a weary day with just one boot-heel click. I was startled by it but I realised they could not stop themselves.
Now I am Dick. My father is long gone and my family and nearly all my acquaintance use it as my name. I have resisted the temptation to change my photo studio name to Dick Pics, but it was a severe moral struggle. If my new line of videos takes off I will have to consider Dick’s Flicks.
What could possibly go wrong…?