Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Chuck Chuck Mo-Buck, Bananafana, Fo Fu....

My full name is Howard Lorne McEwen, Jr. but The Divine Mrs. M calls me Chuck. So do my parents and friends from high school. Even in college I was known as Chuck. All clients and people I've met post-college know me a Howard. All people I've met through The Divine Mrs. M post-college know me as Chuck.

Why the name game? Here's the story I tell:

Obviously being a Jr. I'm named after my father - the Sr. I'm a sequel, but, like the Star Trek movies, better than the first. My father was named Howard after two brothers name Howard both my grandparents had (Grandad had a brother named Howard, and Grandma had a brother named Howard) who were the family pride since they were both physicians (that's two Dr. Howards I have as great-uncles). Lorne was my grandfather's name. I don't know where that came from. So my father was named Howard Lorne McEwen.

Then I was born in April of 1970 and given the same name as dad but with the cute little "Jr." tag.

Here's where the problem comes in. My mother hates the name Howard so she called me Lorne. My father - because of animosity towards his father - hates the name Lorne so he called me Howard. What to do? Natural, fight about it for several months. Finally, it's Christmas 1970. Recently discharged from the Navy, my parents move in with my grandfather Lorne for a short time. This makes it impossible for my young mother to yell "Lorne!" at the top of her lungs when I mess the diaper. A large row ensues, I'm told. Finally, looking at the television playing A Charlie Brown Christmas my father declares, "Fine, we will call him Charlie." Trying to call his bluff, my mother agreed. Neither gave in and I was called Charlie until 7th grade.

This entailed several first-days-of-school trying to convince the teacher that I wasn't Howard or Lorne but...Charlie. Finally, in the 7th grade Allen "the Waz" Wasvick decided I would be called Chuck. Hey, Chuck, What's up, Chuck? I kind of liked it, it sounded more mature at the time that "Charlie." This stuck all the way through college. This now makes it very hard for people who want to trying to track me down because many look for Charles McEwen.

After graduation, I decided enough was enough. After a brief flirtation with using Lorne, Howard took over. Except that The Divine Mrs. M calls me Chuck since we met in college. So when she introduces me it's Chuck, except when I then introduce myself it's Howard.

I've had this story in my head for years, but it never looks so ridiculous as now after I've written it down. Time to sign off and go do a full Menendez on my parents.

Stay You.

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