A bunch of us at work were crowded into the small anteroom outside the dispatcher's headquarters waiting to be assigned. This log-jam was caused because the usual, in-and-out flow of personnel was disturbed. That night, the lead scheduler and both of his savvy replacements coincidentally all called-out. That left the office without an experienced router which resulted in, a first-timer (a friend, Arcine) being in charge of such a vital and complicated undertaking.
I was watching the poor girl running around like a chicken without a head when one of the thirty of us in limbo (another friend, Calloway), tapped me on the shoulder and put his index finger to his lips. He pointed at the substitute dispatcher through the Plexiglas window, retreated to the back of the mob and took out his cell-phone. Calloway's serious face turned into the mischievous grin of a leprechaun as he dialed into headquarters.
Calloway's overwhelmed prank target picked up the phone as he said in a crisp Irish brogue, "Me name's Holden, Holden M'Groin, I'm supposed to start tonight but they didn't tell me what time to report." Arcine picked up the master daily schedule. We watched her shake her head as she searched for the phony name until she said, "What did you say your name is?" Calloway fought off his laughter as he turned his back from the window and said, "M'Groin, Holden M'Groin, M-C-G-R-O-I-N. Is there a problem, dearie? You see, today's me first day..." Arcine said, "Yeah, yeah, yeah..." and put him on hold as she looked around for help...but she was flying solo. In a panic, she unnecessarily scanned ten lists of employees already accounted for. She was waving her arms in desperation and it looked liked she was screaming obscenities when she slid the window open and yelled into the crowd, "Do any of you know who's Holden M'Groin?" A few people in the crowd snickered. Then with all the charm and professionalism of a bag lady with Turrets Arcine roared, "What's so f***ing funny about me f***ing saying; who's f***ing Holden M'Groin?" Then an older woman said, "If YOU don't know whose holding your groin, how would we know?" Arcine's upgraded profanity rant would have embarrassed a longshoreman. But it got still worse when she caught eye-contact with Calloway as he held up his cell phone and burst out laughing.
The point is, names can be sensitive issues. I'm certain I wouldn't want to eat a food with the name shitaki...and I love mushrooms. And Cheez-Wizz despite being nearly all chemicals, implies that a main ingredient is, wizz...so I say no thank you to that too.
|OF COURSE THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS, IN MEXICO THEY MARKET "SHIT" CIGARETTES. THE GIMMICK IS, IT'S ALL NATURAL AND THEREFORE SMOKING THEM, DOESN'T CAUSE CANCER.|
In the case of people names, imagine moving to Norway and finding out that your name meant something strange like; sweaty butt. Some prime examples of this situation that I have come across include, a Middle-Eastern kid in one of my son Andrew's classes named Anis. When he understood the negative implication, it didn't take long before he demanded that his name be pronounced, "ANN-iz." Similarly, a new-hire at my job was named Dung. He asked his supervisor, "Why do people laugh when they read my name tag?" His boss wryly said, "Because in English, dung means cow crap." The next day his name tag read: Tony. Plus the name Phuc and Phouc seem to come up a lot too and those guys all insist that it's pronounced; Foo.
This foreign name game happened again when I caught the, "TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES" (TCM) tribute to Japanese, late 50's horror movies. Included in this airing were four "classics." I was familiar with the ones that featured enormous monstrosities like; "GODZILLA," "MOTHRA" and "RODAN." But the one I never heard of was, the one that took a different route.
|GODZILLA WAS AN AMPHIBIAN, MOTHRA AN INSECT AND RODAN WAS A BIRD. THE COMMON THREAD THAT RAN THROUGH ALL THESE CREATURE FILMS WAS THE PUBLIC'S FEAR, OF THE AFFECTS FROM NUCLEAR BOMB TESTING.|
The fourth movie, "THE H-MAN," I liked best. It also centered on the side-effects on testing nuclear weapons theme but its antagonist was a murderous ooze that inhabits the Tokyo sewer system.
I'm guessing that the Toho Studios' superstar directing, special effects and producing team of, Ishiro Honda, Eiji Tsuburaya and Tomoyuki Tanaka felt that the age of giant monster (kaiju) movies had peaked. So to get in on the ground floor of something new and more cerebral, they went with a jiggly, flesh-eating, radioactive slime that absorbed its human prey, yet rejected their clothing. They soon reassessed this attempt at cleverness and realized that they missed their mark. It's good thing too, because the giant monster genre would remain popular, (even when they ran out of ideas, the same grotesque beasts maintained enough of an audience even if they were poorly recycled versions of the same thing).
The H-Man appealed to me right away because in the opening credits, a surprisingly pleasant, jazzy sound track set the tone. And while I must confess that it had a less than stunning sub-plot that included drug dealers, hot Japanese girls and a sexy night club singer...IT HAD A SUB PLOT.
The moral of my story is, the Honda, Tsubraya and Tanaka film-making team were not really visionaries. If they were, they would have realized that the true, budding threat to our society in the late-50's wasn't the affects of nuclear bomb testing. The true menace was, the global epidemic of narcotics abuse and the resulting mutant human beings created by drug cartels that continually...to this day, defeat the so-called, war on drugs. Therefore, "THE H-MAN," title could have stayed the same, except the "H" wouldn't have stood for hydrogen...it would have stood for heroin.