“It wouldn’t be so terrible if I had a less common last name,” said Ebakaneebervanderspunklemcdooodlefuch Smith, “But since there are so many people with the last name Smith, if someone calls me by Smith I won’t even look up. Some people try to abbreviate my name, but that doesn’t work either because there are so many variations that nothing ever gets my attention. Also, my parents were very formal people, even if they were oddballs, and they were adamant about pronouncing my full name—so I got accustomed to it as a kid without any nicknames.
“One of my uncles used to call me, ‘Ebakaneebervanderfuch’ for short. My mother would get pissed off at
my uncle when she heard that. She would say, ‘Just why did we go to the trouble of giving our son a beautiful name like Ebakaneebervanderspunklemcdooodlefuch if people are going botch it up like you are?’
“Talk about not getting any respect, I finally had to divorce my wife of ten years. She couldn’t even get my name right after all those years. I mean, I am used to people messing up my name—but my own wife? I really got tired of being called, ‘Hey you guy,’ or ‘Hey! What’s your name!’ by my own wife. So I got a divorce.
“It was pretty rough as a kid. I got poor grades in school because it would take so long to write my name on the paper for anything the teachers had us write. The other kids would be half way done with something when I just finished writing my name.
“Whenever I would go to a friend’s house, my friends’ parents would say, ‘What’s your name?’
“When I was very young I said, ‘Ebakaneebervanderspunklemcdooodlefuch.’ I thought everyone had difficult names, and it would perplex me when my friends parents would say, ‘What?’ or, ‘Can you say that again?’
“By the time I got to be six or seven and people asked my name I just cried.
“I am still treated poorly because of my name. For years the phone company refused to put me in the phone book because they said my name took up too much space. Simple things like signing my name on a check are really complicated. Filling out forms—forget it! When ever I try to buy something online and fill in my name I usually crash the web site’s computer.
“Also, the DMV truncated my name on my driver’s licence. How would you like it Thomas, Dick and Harry if your names read, ‘Th, Di and Har’ on your license?
“So you may wonder, now that I am older, why don’t I change my name? After all these years I got used to it. I couldn’t imagine being called Mike or David. And I must say that I have come to appreciate the originality and the creativeness my parents had in giving me my name that is so unique. Who else can say that they have a remarkable name? In fact, I think when I have my own child I just might name him…. no, wait a second. I think I will name him Bill or Sam.”