You see, my real name is pretty uncommon. In fact I only know of two other instances of my first name being used. I'm sure there are hundreds of people with the same first name as me, but I only know two. One was a kid in a Hallmark store who's mother kept saying my name over and over, and I kept lookin over at her to see what she wanted but she was never facing me... So I started to move in her direction and as I rounded the display I spotted a little towheaded boy under the rack. 3 or 4 years old. I said hello to the woman and told her that the little boy's name was my name too. "It was his father's idea," she replied with just a hint of distain. Then she introduced me to the kid (the handshake got him to come out from under the rack) and I asked him if he liked his name. He kind of shrugged and looked at his shoes. I told him that he probably wouldn't like it now, but when he grows up he is really going to be glad he has a cool name. He kind of looked up at me sideways and smiled. Wonder if he remembers that.
My name was MY father's idea too. It comes from his youthful fascination with comic books... primarily one "dynamic duo." When/if I get a tattoo it will have my namesake's (copyrighted) symbol incorporated somehow.
The other instance is (or was) a cat named after me in a little Washington State town someplace. I used to be on a wacky morning radio show (have been on a couple actually) and one of our listeners named her tabby after me. Called in to let us know. I thought that was nice.
My first name IS a pretty common LAST name. In fact when I was in college, a member of our football team who's last name was the same as my first name was arrested for aggravated rape. The local paper's headline read: "'NAME' ARRESTED FOR RAPE" or something like that. I kept that page for a while, but have since realized that a headline like that just isn't ever going to be something I want framed.
So what does this all have to do Mr. Rebecca Romijn-Stamos (I know the Stamos is gone now, but it just rolls off the tongue so nicely that way)? Well. On Jerry's new ABC sitcom "Carpoolers," he plays Laird (the show is full of weird names) and Laird is best friends with a guy who has the same first name as me! It's spelled differently (WRONGLY in my opinion) but Jerry O'Connell must have said my name like a MILLION times last night during the show. It was so cool!
You have to understand that I'm the guy who can never find his name on those pre-printed souvenirs at the amusement park, who has to repeat his name 5 or 6 times to anyone who hasn't heard it before, who was mocked mercilessly (and prophetically as it turns out) because my name is easily twisted into a gay joke. My name is not a name that is heard in Prime Time on network television.
The show? I liked it. Last night's storyline revolved around Dentist Laird and his Mediator best friend who share office space near each other. I got a strong "Bob Newhart Show" vibe while watching. The one set in Chicago, not the one in Vermont. The office scenes were like "Bob Newhart 2.0" minus Marcia Wallace.
I've established an early crush on carpool newbie Dougie and am weirdly looking forward to more story lines with my namesake's son Marmaduke (yes Marmaduke) and his tighty whities. The fact that Bruce McCollough, the cute one from Kids in the Hall, is the creator, executive producer and writer (of this episode) makes Carpoolers all the better.
So yeah... me and Jerry (eat a sandwich Jer) are best buds now. At least for 22 minutes on Tuesday nights following Cavemen on ABC.