My ‘name game’ may be lame, but I can’t help myself

 My retirement has meant there is a new adventure in getting in trouble with the powers that be in the house every day.  I am not just implying my wife.  It is also my son who passes judgment on my words and actions.  At least the dogs stay on my side as long as there is recliner time with belly rubs.

The offenses are usually minor and the reprimands are in good nature.  How the dishwasher is loaded, not putting the checkbook back in its exact home and the organization of the garage, or lack of, are my recurring offenses. 

Another offense that I take part in (and has been addressed in this forum) is the naming of inanimate objects.  My truck is Ray, after the author Raymond Chandler.  The refrigerator is Barney after my Uncle Barney (I always thought it was cool that he drank a bottle of soda straight out of the old glass bottles).  The Thanksgiving turkeys and Christmas hams had different names every year and there never was a stay of execution.

The turkey and ham naming is probably what pushed it over the edge.  I was labeled a chronic joker.  Too many wisecracks, too often.  I realized it was a problem when family and friends outside of the home would comment that I got carried away sometimes.  I decided I would curb my jokes.  I was doing a pretty good job biting my tongue until that fateful day just last weekend.

The weather was unseasonably warm.  My wife and I were enjoying a stroll through the garden center of Menard’s when we found that exact thing we knew would be the perfect addition to the yard, a four-foot tall bear yard ornament with a welcome sign.  My wife thought about where it would look good.  I already knew it would be great in front of our lamppost.  We had just removed a planter box that was deteriorating and this had everything I relished.  It did not have to be watered or weeded and it could be easily mowed around!  Sold.

Everything then happened all at once.  A sales associate helped us put it in the cart.  I thought about the perfect name to give it.  I checked that thought.  My name game was part of the silly jokes I was trying to quash.  I held tight and kept my mouth shut.  A major achievement, I thought.

Before the associate released the bear to the confines of the cart, he asked, “So, what are you going to name it?”

I could feel my wife make a barely perceivable shrug of despair.  “You’ve got to be kidding me,” I told the associate.  I gave the short history of my version of the name game and proudly told him that those silly days were behind me.  It was a nice laugh.

Other than telling our son the ironic story, it has been forgotten.  Forgotten by everyone else, perhaps, but not by me.  The bear sits out in my shop waiting for consistent warm weather, if that ever happens, to be placed in a refreshed area of the yard.  The bear statue silently speaks to me and only me.  “Name me!” it commands.

What to do, what to do?  Just acknowledging this dilemma can support those who think I need to tone down the joking around.  When the opportunity is handed to me, how can I pass it up?  I have to take this shot and I will use this forum as my platform to do so.  

By venting here and now, I may avoid a pitfall.  You see, I am not sure how many friends and family read what I write.  I sometimes repost my post but only after giving first rights.  A few have commented they read my writings but it is sporadic so I may be able to get away with this.

So, here we go.  I am giving that bear a name and I am going to do right by the Menard’s sales associate.  My rule of naming permanent objects is simple.  The name must somehow have some significance.  I regret not getting the sales associate’s name; his name would have been the way to go.

I will still keep with the Menard’s theme but with a simple twist.  I knew a little boy who liked the old Menard’s commercial that had the catchphrase,” Save big money at Menard’s!”  He used to sing the jingle but his little voice would say Banard’s instead of Menard’s.  That little boy would grow up to work at Menard’s.  For privacy’s sake and as not to embarrass him as I often do, I cannot reveal my son Mike’s full name.

Banard shall be the name of the bear.  It is significant in so many ways.  It reminds me of the nice outing the wife and I had when we found him.  It reminds me of the cute little things my son said.  It makes me smile.

Banard, may you live long and welcome people to our home in the summer for many years to come.

Comments are welcomed at [email protected].