February 28, 2008

  • Non Sequitur: The Name Game


    “Kris Alan Johnson!”

    Rarely were those three words strung together unless I had committed some egregious offense. It is common practice, after all, for a parent to employ a child’s full name in the face of an infraction so dire as to warrant prison time (if only the little miscreant could be tried as an adult).

    Less severe offenses occasionally elicited a “Kris Alan!” from my mother, but the full name was reserved for truly despicable deeds.

    Had I been an entirely rotten child, I suppose it is quite possible that my mother would have grown tired of constantly evoking my full name and determined that simply calling me by my middle name would be sufficient to indicate that I was in deep trouble and to distinguish her summons from those (rare) occasions when she wasn’t ready to wring my scrawny little neck.

    But I was most certainly not a rotten child.

    Joseph Martin Johnson, on the other hand, must have been a thoroughly rotten child, for to this very day everyone calls him “Martin”.

    Except me, of course. I call him “Dad”.