Monday, 11 February 2008

My Neem - My Name's Tegan Jovanka

The title of this post refers to a legendarily fluffed line from Janet Fielding in Doctor Who's 1981 epic Logopolis. To this day I have no idea why the BBC allowed such a blatantly fucked line to be recorded; perhaps they were running out of time or something.

Anyway. Giving your name to someone is a big deal and to me it's always been a doubly difficult ordeal, because I have a totally embarrassing name, at least if you were a child of the 80s and early 90s.

A typical conversation would go a bit like this:

"Hello, my name's Phil."
"Er, hi, I'm TD."
"TD, [sniggers], hey - I've got loadsamoney, loadsamoney, hey have you heard this - "oooow, god, you never let me do anything, tsk, god, tsk, tchoh..."

and so on. Obviously my name isn't TD, but it stands for [substitute name you couldn't hear without sniggering between 1986 and 1996].

Even though this phase of history seems to have passed I still loathe telling people my name, and prefer to take the age old route of anonymity. By a staggering coincidence, most of the people I meet are not interested in knowing my name, despite telling me everything from their favourite cereal to the sexual position that causes them most difficulty. I like such people. They cause me no trouble and I learn a lot from them, such as their work problems, their relationship "issues", their troubled childhood and their fears about death (I've heard it all before, honestly. You could have no fear of death that I haven't heard, indeed shared). Given that people have been anonymous or pseudonymous since we were scrawling damnfool images on caves, it seems a bit odd for certain bloggers to demand to know the identity of everyone who posts, but that is by the bye. I can just imagine a conversation between my tutor and me circa 1997:

"so, TD, what do you think of the Owl and the Nightingale?"
"Well, it needs to be discounted on the basis that the author omitted their name. I mean, for all we know it could of been the Pearl poet sock-puppeting."
"But-but that's outrageous. Sock-puppetry is-"


So I try not to give my name unless absolutely necessary. At least if people do know it then they don't call me "mate", "pal" or "bro" (not that I get called bro very often). Instead they call me "T" (which stands for "even more embarrassing shortened form of embarrassing name"); which is totally unacceptable unless I have clearly given them permission to do so. At time of counting only 2 people have the right to call me this, not counting my parents, who do not, and never will have, permission, but who call me this anyway.

Why have I set upon this diversion? Because I am bored, and a little tipsy, and not working, and I cannot be bothered to indulge a long rant about the government's latest folly against civil liberties, whatever it is (let me guess - it's an entitlement, or right of some kind).

"My neem - my name's Tegan Jovanka. I'd like to speak to the pilot."

So would I, my dear, so would I.

1 comment:

Matt M said...

The old b&w Who's are full of fluffed lines - it was just too time-consumsing and expensive to start again.

As someone with a tendency to trip over words on a fairly regular basis, I find it quite heartening to see others do the same.

Never had much trouble with my name though. Except that it's so common - any party/gathering I go to is guranteed to have at least three other Matt's there. It's not helped by the fact that my friends, in an effort to distinguish between us, add little descriptive labels when talking about us: I'm "skinny Matt", apparently. Nice to know that that's my most defining feature to them.