I am not a big questions guy. I basically square up a situation, make a list of assumptions, and start acting on them. If my expectations are not met, I voice my disapproval and move on with life. Some people are not like this at all and of them, you can count my dad.
We once all sat down for dinner at Ruby Tuesdays and set about to order ourselves some steaks. After I ordered mine, my dad had “some questions” about the quality and various nuances of what we were to be served. After about the 7th question I impatiently noted “Dad, it’s gonna be a piece of cow with heat applied” and he conceded his menu and let the poor waiter kid go on. I turned to him and asked “Has any waiting staff ever committed suicide while taking your order?” and he said no, that had definitely not happened and I assured him it was only a matter of time.
With this context, I submit to you the series of unfortunate incidents that resulted in the name for my parents new toy poodle.
My parents lost their first toy poodle two months ago. They seemed abnormally distraught, so I did what I always do in the case of human suffering, be a good Republican and avoid it. A few days later my sister Dawn called me. I was down in the theatre room, watching “The Expanse” and she tells me “They are planning to drive to Oklahoma to buy a poodle.”
“What? That’s rediculous! I’ll give em Scouts gay ass for free…” I looked over at Scout, sitting at the end of the couch, blowing himself furiously. I yelled at him “SCOUT! Quit lickin the ding ding!”
Back on the phone “You know what… scratch that. I’ll get on Craiglist and… hold on a minute… SCOUT! IT’S CLEAN ALREADY! Ok, I’m back. I’ll get on Craigslist and find them a dog.”
Within a few days we had a potential candidate. A little black male toy poodle and my step-mom, Brenda was falling in love. They tasked me to ask a few questions about the dogs health and the owners were cooperative. Then Brenda asked me: what is his name? I told her that it didn’t matter, it would be her dog and she should come up with any name she wanted. She said “I don’t want him to have to get used to a new name!”
I felt bad. They should get to name their new puppy without guilt, so I decided to pick a name that was so horrible they had to pick another one. I texted her, “They said his name is Manson, but that it was ok to change it”.
Unfortunately Brenda misread the text and thought it said Masey. She started talking to all her friends about this potential new pup, Masey they had found in Saint Louis. Later she texted me “That’s kind of a weird name for a dog, but ok. We’ll keep it!”.
Now I think I’ve really fucked up. I got parents who will soon be walking around with a poodle named Manson. I texted her back “Brenda, I was kidding. I don’t know yet what the dogs name is. It’s definitely not Manson.” She replied back “Oh! I thought you said Masey!”
So that Saturday I pick up the dog and I’m sure at the end of the transaction to ask “Look, I gotta ask because it’s real important to my parents… did you guys have a name for the dog?”
“No, we just called him dog… or… puppy, you know”. Yep. I knew.
I thanked her for her time and left. Back on the road, headed for Cape Girardeau, an idea popped into my head. I could actually tell them a silly name… and that would be the dogs name. So I had a contest with myself to come up with the silliest name.
Now… you gotta understand. My dad is 6′ something, pile of man, named Barry. He’s been fussing over and carrying around a toy poodle for the past decade like it was his baby. So I imagined his friends coming up and asking what his new poodles name was and him replying… Barry Jr. This made me laugh pretty hard in the car as I drove. No, I said to myself. That’s just pure evil.
About ten minutes went by and my father called. He asked if I secured the dog and I told him I had and he immediately asked “Did you find out what the dogs name is?” and the words just popped out of my mouth. I couldn’t stop them. “It’s the damndest thing, Dad. Turns out his fathers name was Barry and… he looked just like him so… they were calling him Barry Jr. What are the odds of that sort of thing?”
He bit. “You’re kidding! Man that is crazy”. After I hung up the phone I looked in the rear view mirror and my reflection looked back at me and said “Yeah, you better hope Hell doesn’t exist”.
About half way to Cape I get a text from him, “Brenda said you were messing with me about his name being Barry Jr. We’ve been calling him Macey so we’re just going to keep calling him that.”
And that lads, is how I, in a round about way… named my parents poodle after Charles Manson.