Thursday, July 05, 2007

What's In A Name?

Preppy Girl works at a place whose “season” runs nine weeks straight in the summer. The place has concerts, plays, operas, symphonies, lectures and classes every day of the week and is crawling with rich people – new money and old. Due to the demands of the job, PGirl always has to work on July 4. Since both of our kids attend a summer school within her place of work and were participating in a “holiday parade”, I decided to join them and hang out for a while. A new, fenced-in dog run was recently installed there, so I took our pooch, Asa, along with me.

After a short walk from one of the entrances to the square of this community, I met up with PGirl, her assistant and a buddy of mine from The Unexpected Guests, who I’ll refer to as Milton F. Hunter. The parade of kids was absolutely adorable. They convened at the steps of one of the square’s buildings, sang some songs, marched to the amphitheater and sang some more. What happened as we waited for the parade to start was what I’d like to recount here.

As we waited on a sidewalk corner, many people stared at us. I thought maybe it was because of what we wore, that the rich folks could tell we weren’t money. PGirl had her work windbreaker on and I was slumming it in a pair of khaki cargos, track shoes and an oxford shirt. In L.A. I would’ve been mistaken for an incognito celebrity. In this place – a dogwalker.

But it wasn’t our clothes people were staring at. It was Asa. Our dog is a standard poodle who doesn’t wear his hair in any of the traditional poodle cuts. We usually get him short, cuts all around so he looks sort of like an Airedale. This often prompts people to look at him, wondering what breed he his. Our groomers give us shit for not asking for something fancier, but we like the way he looks. Several people approached us, saying things like, “I just have to ask, what kind of dog is he?” or “What a beautiful cinnamon boy!” (He’s apricot in color). The majority of him asked his name, which I readily revealed. After the 6th or 7th inquisitor, though, I began to have fun.

A woman approached, asking the standard questions. When she inquired about his name, my improv-addled mind pushed me to blurt out, “Alistair”. Milton stifled a laugh and PGirl shot me a smirk. After the lady left, my wife asked, “What are you doing?”. I smiled back, “Just having a laugh!”.

A few moments later, another lady approached us with the name question. I replied, “Acadian Driftwood”. She didn’t bat an eye. Milton was having a hard time not busting up this time. We walked over to the grass across from the singing area to listen to the kids. Several more people and their dogs visited with us, but no one was asking his name. I was getting anxious. Finally, the next mark approached.

“What is your poodle’s name?”. I started running through a short list of ridiculous “A” names. Before I could settle on one, she cut me off with her next question. “Is it Coco?”. I choked back a laugh. Coco was a brilliant name. My voice quivering, I said. “No. His name is…”. I was having difficulty coming up with a clever name. “Coco” kept ringing in my ears. I gave up and gave in. “Asa.”, I said. “His name is Asa”. She walked away from us and Milton and I gave up our fun and games.


3carnations said...

She guessed a name? You should change his name simply because of that. Who guesses a dog's name?

Jane said...

hot damn, that's funny!! If you delivered "Acadian Driftwood" with a straight face, that's 10 points. And I agree...who tries to guess a dog's name?!

Makkaio said...

Awwwwww...poor Fritz!

Tracy Crowe Jones said...

Every day, the more I think about this, the funnier it becomes. I just wish we'd been there with you to join in the game.

Mr. Social said...

Dog names... I have always wanted to name a dog Steve, or Tim, or Susan... something human and uncreative... like Frank. Then I would give the dog a last name that was different from mine... like Frank Anderson or Susan Feinstien. Then I would call the dog by that name. Hyphenating the dog's last name with my own last name would be too much trouble.

Tracy Crowe Jones said...

I was just talking to my husband a few days ago about doing the same thing. A name like Darren or Robert or Janice. I think it would be lovely.

Julia said...

Our dogs came pre-named because we adopted them.

However, our veterinarian gave them our last name so when we take them in it's Buddy Hanley and Zak Hanley.

On the other hand, you did hear the story about Jane re-naming our dogs, so I guess it's possible.

James D. Horne said...

Free Asa!

It's sad to live in a world where a dog can't be a dog. But that's humans for ya.

Nice blog and one blog response deserves another (but I don't think you have to come to Clarksville to raise havoc, but thanks for the offer).

Mama Drama Jenny said...

I'm naming my next dog Acadian Driftwood. But only if it's a boy. If it's a girl it'll be called Miss Marmelstien, of course.