Coble has a name. I don’t call her it. Coble’s husband has a name, the defining part of which he brought into the marriage and yet, to me, it’s Coble and Coble’s husband. Not for great feminist reasons, but because I’m a midwesterner and in my culture, when you like someone and kind of like their swagger, you call them by their last name as a term of endearment.
Unless you’re a gym teacher, then you just call everyone by their last names.
But the Professor. She introduces herself, “Hi, I’m the Professor.” Everyone calls her “The Professor.” I call her “Proffy.” And I cringe when I do it, but I still can’t break myself of it.
Tonight, I found out that the Butcher, who I have obviously known since he was a suckling babe, whose pee I failed to wipe off the ceiling when we were both children, who my other brother and I wanted to name Bubbles when we thought he was going to be a girl, would much rather be called by his full name. Basically, he would like to be The Butcheropolis… No, that’s not long enough to give you the flavor of what he wants, because “the Butcher” is longer than his actual name. If we’re keeping it proportional, he would rather be called The Mega Monster Butcheropolisapocalypse, which is how he introduces himself, and then everyone proceeds to call him “The Butcher.”
I never knew this. But my insistence on calling him “The Butcher” has, apparently, contributed to an atmosphere where no one seriously ever calls him The Mega Monster Butcheropolisapocalypse. And I feel bad about that.
But not bad enough that I’m going to be able to break myself of it.