A rose by any other name… might smell like kielbasa?

15 Apr

So we all know people with unfortunate name combinations…. just start a conversation about someone you know whose name is Rose Budd (nee Bush) and inevitably, you’ll start hearing about other ironic pairings.

Last night at book club this very topic came up and I found myself talking about a girl I went to elementary school with, who – in the interest of anonymity – we’ll call Krista Hiney. (This isn’t her real last name, but it’s a close parallel, especially on the Hiney part.)

Her last name wasn’t just unfortunate, but something of a self-fulfilling prophecy: in fourth grade she crapped her pants during quiet reading time. Except instead of wearing pants, she was actually wearing a dress, so she had to be pushed out of the classroom while still seated in her chair because she was scared her underwear would fall down when she stood up.

That teacher should be sainted for understanding. And I should be sainted for carrying her homework down to the office for her mother to pick up – and for NOT telling my classmates that it was covered with poop-fingerprints. (Which begs the question: if you crapped your pants, would you keep working on your multiplication tables? Or would you be frozen in mortal fear that someone would notice?)

Had that happened to someone with a generic last name, it would’ve been bad enough; with a last name like Hiney, she had to transfer school districts the next year to get away from the inevitable teasing.

Anyway, I digress. The reason we were talking about unfortunate last names was because my friend works with a guy whose last name is (and I’ll admit I’m envious): Kielbasa. How awesome is that? We had fun noting that if I were to marry him, I could technically become a Kielbasa-Farmer. That would be doubly-awesome.

So you think this would be a bad name?

Alas, a future is not the cards for us (not least because I’m happily dating Alan), but Mr. Kielbasa IS getting married this weekend. And you know what? He just changed his name to Kiel. Totally dropped the -Basa like it was a bad date.

All the girls at book club speculated that it was clearly the fiancee’s doing. I mean, the guy had made it through 30 years with Kielbasa treating him just fine. Then a week before the ceremony, he goes out and has the -Basa removed like a cancerous mole. We know whose decision THAT was.

Funny side note: one of the guys whose office is next to his modified his own name plate so that it read, “Jason Smith-Basa,” and told Mr. Kiel that just because he wasn’t going to use -Basa, it shouldn’t go to waste.

So I’m curious – has his name change been in the works for long, or will his side of the aisle be perplexed on Sunday when the minister presents “Mr. & Mrs. Kiel” to the world? If I were there, I don’t think I’d be able to restrain myself. I just hope someone has the sense to cough “basa” under his breath when the couple is announced.

But then again, I’ve never been one to waste a good meat product. Such a shame…

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