2/22/2010

When I am King: Hello, My Name Is...

When I am King...

Everyone will wear nametags. Always.

You meet someone at a party. You introduce yourselves, you shake hands, you exchange meaningless conversation about the weather and the essential pointlessness of human existence, and then you return to the buffet table to add more guacamole directly onto your waistline.

A week later, you see them again. You say hello and realize that you haven’t a clue what their name is. It’s not the right situation to ask them, so you get by without it, just avoiding any sentence that requires using their name. If you’re with someone that you should introduce to them, you rudely forget so that you can avoid admitting that you don’t know their name. If they’d forgotten your name too, it would have been fine. But they said your name right off the bat, so you couldn’t launch into the proactive, “I’m Bob – we met at that party?” and hope that they’d pay you back in kind.

You see them again the next week, and then frequently after that. And you never remember their name. Years go by and you now know them pretty well, seeing them at local barn burnings and gun rallies, yet you still never recall their name. You just get by with such timeless phrases as, “Hey, you!” and “Hey!” and the classic “Yo!”

Meanwhile, there are other people that, no matter how many times they’ve met you, consistently forget not only what your name is, but that they’ve ever seen you before. There are probably people that you know at work like this. They sit near you, they work on a related team, and you pass them several times a day around the department. Yet eventually they will end up talking to you and will say that you haven’t met and they’ll kindly re-introduce themselves. It’s not so bad having your name forgotten, but to have completely passed through their consciousness without registering a blip is a bit of a letdown. Especially since you slept with them. Twice.

When I am King, we will all wear permanent nametags. In fact, given the current trend for tattoos (a trend that follows a 40 year cycle, which is the amount of time it takes for a tattoo to turn the color of bile and sag that pretty butterfly design into a cobweb of horror), these nametags will be tattooed onto our foreheads. This will prevent the awkwardness of not knowing someone’s name because you can always look straight into their eyes, or slightly above them, and read it. It will also prevent the embarrassment of you being forgotten by people. Not that they won’t still forget you as soon as they blink, but at least if they can read your name they may skip that awkward re-introduction that otherwise inevitably ensues.

That’s my plan. My name’s Chet, by the way. And you were…?
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