Friday, July 30, 2010

What is in a name?

Peep, Rudy and LT were having a family conference.  They were worried because Daddy said that he’d been stolen, although that was strange since he was obviously still around.  He was upset and even angry because it might cost him a lot of money.  The cats weren’t quite as worried about the money.  As long as there was enough for cat food, they were okay.  Fancy cat toys were nice, but not at all necessary. 

“Rudy, you heard him on the phone.  How did he say that he got stolen, if he’s still here in the house?”  LT wanted to get the facts straight. 

“Well, he used a fancy word for it.  He called it identity theft.  Maybe it meant they stole his name, and now he’ll need to change it from Jay to something else.  At first I thought he meant that he’d been stolen somehow, like maybe somebody stole one of his body parts.”  Rudy explained it the best she could, but of course she’d only heard half the conversation, and didn’t understand all of the words.  She tried to be careful with words after the fiasco two summers ago when Mommy had an internship and Rudy had thought she was doing something with turnips.  That misunderstanding had resulted in a crop of turnips which they had all been forced to eat for what seemed like months. 

Peep piped up, “Oh, I know about identity theft.  I saw about it on the television.  Daddy just needs to pay money to some company and it will never happen because people will watch him and his stuff all the time.” 

“It’s too late for that, Peep.  It’s already happened.  Hmmmm.  Well, what it sounds like is that somebody stole his name.  That’s what an identity is – your name, who you are.  I am Lucky Tiger, LT.  You are the Peep.  Rudy is, well, Rudy.  I think it’s lousy that somebody stole the Daddy’s name.  Rudy, did the conversation sound like he’d be able to get it back?”

Rudy shook her head.  “Nope, on the phone he asked if he’d get it back, and it sounded like the person on the other end said no, because he asked why couldn’t they get it back for him.  I’m afraid our Daddy has no identity anymore.”

Peep looked scared.  He’s still the Daddy, though.  I mean, we’re the only ones who call him that.  The Mommy calls him Jay or Jason.  I think those are the only names that got stolen, right?”

LT nodded.   “I agree Peep.  Maybe we should help him think about new names.  We could pick out some good ones that we think he’d like and send the yarn lady an email so that she could suggest them to him.”  He sighed.  “Sometimes I wish we could communicate directly to Mommy and Daddy, but I don’t think they’d ever believe we are smart enough to send emails.  Mommy would think it was a joke by the yarn lady probably.  Okay, what names would be good?”

“Mr. Green Jeans.  He looks like old pictures of that guy from the Captain Kangaroo Show!”  Rudy had obviously been waiting to make this contribution, as she started talking almost before LT closed his mouth.

“And people would call him, what – Green?  Hello, is this the Jeans household and am I speaking to Mr. Green Jeans?  I don’t think so, Rudy.”  Peep sniggered nastily.  She wasn’t sure she had a better idea, but that one was plain dumb.

“I’ve always been partial to the name Alastair, myself.  Alastair Cook had such a lovely voice, and the Daddy has a lovely voice.  He could call himself Alastair.”  That was Peep’s contribution. 

Rudy retaliated with, “Yeah, and that guy on the Optimum Voice commercials has a nice voice too.  Do you want Daddy to call himself Barry?  I think not.”

“Ladies, let’s not argue.  Let’s think about this and each come up with three suggestions.  We’ll write them down and vote on them and whichever one gets the most votes wins.  We’ll suggest that one to Daddy.”  LT put an end to what might have become a real catfight and settled down to try to come up with the perfect name for Daddy, just in case he couldn’t get his back. 

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