Daily Dialogue: What’s in a Name?

For 40 minutes a day, I write and write and write two women talking randomly.

Teri
But at least your name isn’t Latrine.

Gretchen
I guess you’re right.

Teri
And your name isn’t very popular in America. So what? You stand out!

Gretchen
Yeah, unless I go to Oktoberfest.

Teri
You hate krautwurst and beer. Why would you go there?

Gretchen
A bet.

Teri
I don’t think you have to worry about your friends betting you to go to Oktoberfest. Heck, I doubt most of us can spell it.

Gretchen
Yeah, but… I hate my name!

Teri
Why?

Gretchen
Because people always pronounce the t. Like, give it a syllable. Gre-TAH-chen.

Teri
Are you friends with those people?

Gretchen
Ugh, no.

Teri
So what’s your guff?

Gretchen
They’re everywhere, that’s my guff.

Teri
I can count on a fist how often you go out any given week.

Gretchen
Hey, I’m not that bad a recluse.

Teri
Yeah, you take out the garbage.

Gretchen
Jerk.

Teri
Ah, you’ll be fine. Gretchen the Brick. That’s what I call you.

Gretchen
Sure that’s the right b-word?

Teri
Like I’m gonna admit to that one.

Gretchen
Hey!

Teri
I kid, I kid. Mostly. You just need to relax about your name.

Gretchen
No. I’m gonna change it.

Teri
Do you know how much that costs? And what you could buy with that money instead?

Gretchen
Then I’ll make it my nickname.

Teri
You can’t choose your nickname. Do you think Batman declared himself one day the Caped Crusader?

Gretchen
Why would he do that? That’s a stupid name.

Teri
Exactly. Someone gave it to him and through being him, he managed to be awesome in spite of it. So if you’re gonna change your name, if you’re gonna have a nickname, it’s only right that someone give it to you. And since I’m the only one around, like N*Sync, it’s gonna be me.

Gretchen
But–

Teri
Ahoy there, Kitty Bam-Bam!

Kitty Bam-Bam
That doesn’t make sense. No! No, why am I Kitty Bam-Bam?

Teri
Because you like cats and you make noise.

Kitty Bam-Bam
No, that’s so fucking stupid! Take it back!

Teri
Nope. And now… There.

Kitty Bam-Bam
What? What?!

Teri
The gang knows your new name now.

Kitty Bam-Bam
Take that text back!

Teri
Sorry, it’s in the ether. Which brings me to the next problem of you having a nickname.

Kitty Bam-Bam
There’s more?

Teri
The rest of the world doesn’t know your nickname. They’ll only know you as Gretchen unless you correct them.

Kitty Bam-Bam
But I hate people!

Teri
And whenever you’re out with your friends, you’ll have to explain to people why we call you Kitty Bam-Bam. Kitty Bam-Bam.

Kitty Bam-Bam
Ok, ok! I wanna be Gretchen again!

Teri
I don’t think you do, Kitty Bam-Bam.

Kitty Bam-Bam
I do! Damnit, I do!

Teri
So you’ll stop complaining about your name, Kitty Bam-Bam?

Kitty Bam-Bam
I will when it’s back to Gretchen!

Teri
Ok, Gretchen.

Gretchen
Great! Now say that last text was a joke.

Teri
Yes, ma’am. Sorry, ma’am.

Gretchen
I hate you.

Teri
Why, because I made you accept yourself under penalty of perpetual embarrassment?

Gretchen
Uh, yeah?

Teri
I guess that’s a valid reason. But you saved yourself a ton of grief and a few bucks.

Gretchen
Stupid world…

Teri
Oh, hush. You’ll thank me in the morning.

Gretchen
I’ll thank you in the never. Jerk.

Teri
You do know that nicknames can be given in anger as well as spite? And one sticks a lot more than the other and is FAR more embarrassing…

Gretchen
NO! Fine, I’ll thank you in the morning.

Teri
Changed my mind.

Gretchen
What?!

Teri
You’ll thank me in the now.

Gretchen
Thank you, Teri…

Teri
Not good enough.

Gretchen
But the words. They came out of my mouth.

Teri
And you hurt my feelings, so methinks you need to do better.

Gretchen
THANK YOU, TERI!!

Teri
Not louder, dummy. Better.

Gretchen
But that’s all I got.

Teri
No, it’s not. You have something I want very much. Give it to me, baby. Give me your copy of “Dark Knight.”

Gretchen
…you STILL haven’t bought it yet? It’s been out for almost a decade!

Teri
Yeah, well… I don’t feel like watching it all the time.

Gretchen
But it’s my “Dark Knight.”

Teri
I guess it’s ok. Kitty Bam–

Gretchen
No! How about I buy you a copy? It’s practically free now.

Teri
A new copy?

Gretchen
New? But Disc Replay has it for four bucks, usually. New costs at least five bucks more.

Teri
Plus tax. Ten dollars is a drop in the ocean compared to how great you’ll feel after properly apologizing, and making sure that your nickname doesn’t resurface.

Gretchen
Some would call this extortion.

Teri
I’d like to think that I’m an opportunist.

Gretchen
An extortionist.

Teri
Aw, why so serious?

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