Wednesday, August 27, 2008

my name is robert...

I don't know that I'm taking a stand, dear reader, that I should really be called by my full first name. I mean, after all, it's a free country, and people could (and do) call me a lot worse than some variation on my given moniker. That being said, I prefer being called by the full six letters. Thankfully, my family and most of my closest friends understand this and behave accordingly.

However, starting as early as Sunday school, where the priest at my church would call me Bobby despite numerous protestations, people have been calling me by other than my true name. A few friends from high school loved calling me Bob, which actually became endearing, if only from them. In college it was Rob, which is just about as impersonal as it gets.

Anyway, below are some common variations and what the conjure up in my brain when someone uses one to beckon me.


This one has been the least used, and for that I'm thankful. The only Robby I ever knew was one of my little brother's friends, and he lived in a trailer. There's nothing inherently wrong with trailers, I just remember he lived in one. Anyway, at 6 years old, he was throwing down the F-bomb left and right, and had a ruthless mullet.


Even Robby the Robot, which had all the potential to be a bad ass, human-race-dominating character, ended up looking bubbly and cuddly as far as robots go:

Cuddly friend or human-race enslaver?


As I mentioned above, this one reminds me of Father Doar, incessantly smoking his cigarettes and in his Scottish accent saying "Thatta boy, Bobby." Thankfully he wasn't that kind of priest, and I think those cigarettes killed him, but Bobby should be saved for very small cartoon children of Howie Mandell:

Somehow Mandel got a career out of this.

or someone like unique personality and media rarity Bobby Friction, DJ, performance artist, journalist, and BBC talking head:

Reminds me of the Needy Girl video which RULES.


As I said, Bob isn't all that bad, but really only because I have some high school friends who started calling me Bob to annoy me, but like so many things annoying it became the status quo. I have some decent friends who go by Bob. But at the end of the day, Bob is reserved for overweight 50-somethings. Take KFGO Radio 790 AM "Drive Time News" anchor Bob Harris for example, he is a shining example of my mental image of Bob:

Enough said.


This has to be the most pervasive bastardization of my name. Upon arriving in my Freshman dorm in college, I was almost immediately and universally known as Rob - even after introducing myself as Robert. The same occurred when I started my job after college... I don't know if it's because so many Roberts of my generation go by Rob, or what, but without explicit reminders that it's "Robert", that became my name.

Now, the fact that I share a first and last name with a no-talent ass clown in the music industry doesn't help. And perhaps he's the reason people assume I prefer "Rob". To this day, some less intelligent people still jump up and down and clap their hands with glee when they get to call me "Rob Thomas" because 'that's so funny you have the same name as a pop star and I am automatically funny for constantly pointing it out!!?!!@#!@#!#@" This would be less painful if Rob Thomas wasn't such a tool. I mean look at him and his lame earrings contrasted against his dark, brooding, pained expression. Ugh.

"I'm so carefree!!"

"No, wait, I'm deep and mysterious!"


Anonymous said...

Seems like you'd do well to be thought of in the same breath as THE Rob Thomas. Talk about lame versus cool...

MJ said...

looks like you've got yourself a Michael Bolton situation here my friend...