Name Game


Italian men are named after their grandfathers. Perhaps if Giuseppe were my given name there’d be less opportunity afforded to the passive-aggressive among me. So, Philip, it is.

I had some redneck sit next to me and attempt to strike up a conversation as I was mid-taco, mid-beer. The southern drawl was as charming as ass sweat.

“Hey there, son. I’m Andrew.”

(Son? I’m fifty-fucking-seven.)

“I’m Phil.”

“What brings you to Temecula?”


“Where ya from?”


“Ya whole life?”

“Moved here from Philadelphia.”

“Oh, I get it — Phil from Philadelphia.”

“Get what?”

“Your name.”


“Phil, like Phil A. Delphia. Ha ha.”

“I’m sorry?”

“Your name, man. It’s where yer from.”

“Phil? I’m not from Phil. Is there a city around here called Phil? I’m confused.”

“Ah. Never mind. Enjoy your taco.”

Many of my baseball buddies and their women call me Phildo — yes, as in dildo. When I step up to the plate and a catcher or umpire hears it for the first time, they stare at me confused. Or, maybe they get the joke but are concerned that I could turn my 32″ Baum Bat on them if they dare chuckle. Alas, I’m a lover. I grin, nod, and hack away at the next pitch.

When tending bar, I often preemptively strike. I wear a name tag, so I know it’s coming.

“Hi there. I’m Phil as in right now I’m going to Phil up your glass with social lubrication. When you order your next drink, I’ll be re-Phil. Get it?”

Usually, they do. Sometimes I need to remind them I am not Phil T. Rich, so gratuity is highly appreciated. I avoid Phil Laysheo jokes with customers, except the extra-playful ones — like the ones who call me Phil McCraken.

I guess this is why many people wind up taking on nicknames. Let me list a few I have been considering:

  • Qunt. I mean, it’s spelled with a Q, so it works, right?
  • Skeeter. Who wouldn’t love a cousin Skeeter?
  • Sally. Because, Sally. Come on. That’s some funny shit right there. A clever patron will assume it is short for Salvatore. Nay. Salamander.
  • Pi. It would make signing things simpler. I’d tell people I’m Chinese and my father was a mathematician, so he named me after his favorite thing — Fried Cricket Pie.
  • Poopy Nails. Oh, I dare you to ask, patron. I fucking dare you.

I guess it’s all harmless fun. Name play is better than calling me a bald, old fuck with alcohol schnozola.

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About the author

Author of humorous essays about relationships and lifestyles.