What’s in a Name?

By any other name

She got hired!  It was an office full of good looking people, purely by co-incidence. Of course they were highly qualified and skilled at their jobs. The only detractor to what would appear to be a bunch of superior office workers was that they all had funny names. They were the sorts of names that could get a kid beaten up.

For example: Her bosses name was Peter Dickey.  He was truly the most beautiful man over 50 that she had ever met. He was like a George Clooney without the pugnacious insincerity.  Peter Dickey oozed sincerity. He had the most gorgeous voice. For the first three days of meetings her panties were wet.

  “Don’t worry; the effect of his benevolent beauty will wear off soon. Most of the women here and some of the men had this experience. You will simply adjust and it will no longer affect you. I can only wonder about the woman who had the good fortune to call him son. It must have pained her to have to wean him from her breast”, Umu, the woman in the cubicle across from her said. She smiled in a way that made it clear she was joking. Umu was as beautiful as any Nubian princess ever born.  Her skin shone like polished ebony; her accent, more a choice of words than any slanted version of them, was charming. She was warm without being familiar and was as calm and as quick as a cobra. Her full name was Umu Mumu.  Ms. Owen choked on her coffee when she read the name plate on Umu’s cubicle wall. 

“Ethiopia, if you were wondering where I am from.”

“Oh, no, I mean, yeah, I figured East Africa. My grandfather was from Tunisia. You have a lovely accent.”

“It’s is you who have the accent, and odd choice of synapse.” She smiled a pearly white smile and winked.

Sing Song, the tech support person walked by and gave them a wave. 

“Umm, Umu, have you noticed that all the people working here are extremely attractive?”

“I am not looking in this fashion, however, everyone here is very healthy, strong, hard working and qualified.”

“Okay, well, don’t you think some of the people’s names are funny?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, Peter for example.”

Umu held up her long supple arms, palms facing the ceiling in an expression that conveyed, you’ve lost me, or I give up, or what’s the joke?

“Never mind”, Ms. Owen said and she went back to reviewing the reports that would be due later in the week.

She had met Harry Wacker, Anita Hoare, Haywood Jablome and Abbie Birthday.  Later that day she would be introduced to: Hank Erchif, Harris Gray and Pat Butt.

Her husband’s name was Allyson. Ms. Owen knew it was a tricky business talking about funny names with him. He was tortured as a child for having a girl’s name. He would tell people his name was Ali like Mohamed and they would make even more fun of him because he wasn’t black and as far from being a boxer as, well, as she was. 

She couldn’t help it. She thought she would explode if she didn’t talk about it.  That night she told him about how everyone in the office at her new job had a funny name.  She neglected to tell him that they were also gorgeous. That was Allyson’s other sensitivity.  He was a smallish man and he was very skinny. He was going bald and he wasn’t yet thirty. He had a Welsh accent. He didn’t think himself attractive.  He was terribly jealous as a result and for some reason he thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world and that every man would be trying to steal her.  Love is blind she thought.

She loved him.  She couldn’t seem to help herself.  People, including her family would say, “What do you see in him?” and she would tell them that he completed her. When he asked her to marry him it was the second happiest day of her life, the first being the day she became Mrs. Owen. “It was as if I was incomplete before.” She would say.

“So what you are saying is you find it hilarious, all these people with funny names?” Allyson narrowed his squinty eyes from behind his thick glasses and glared accusingly at her.

“No! Oh Allyson, I just find it odd that every one of them has a funny name.  There’s not a normal name in the bunch, well except for me.  Even with my mixed race I ended up being the only un-funny name in the bunch.”

“Well, your first name is a bit out of the ordinary…”

“My mom picked it; it’s Indian, like the dish.”

“Well didn’t you get picked on for it?”

“I guess.  I never really minded.  I was a happy kid. I had a positive attitude and I was always quite fearless, like I am now!”

“I wish I knew you when you were a little girl. I just have the feeling I would have loved you even then. I must be the luckiest son of a bitch in the world!  You saved me when you married me, Arhar!”

Arhar Owen: Our Heroine, bad, I know!!!!