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Friday, March 25, 2005

What's In A Name?

Typically I don't think much about names. All of us "friends" here on the Internet have made up names or nicknames we go by. Lois Lane is the name my father gave me after I landed my first writing gig. He was so proud of me and even when I wasn't talking shop, he still called me Lois, and that's why it stuck. So if y'all thought I was having some crazy Superman fantasy, well, I am, but that's not why I use this name.

My mom has never really had a nickname for me. She's always been one to shout my first, middle and last name in the midst of me having a grand time. She is such a party pooper like that. In fact, I think most of her offspring are called by their given names.

Things were different for food. Mom gave meals all sorts of nicknames. Please don't ask me why because I really don't know. As I have been shopping for groceries to prepare our Easter feast, I've been thinking about her and all of those nicknames. Does food really need a nickname?

"Oh Hammy, just wait until I slather you in brown sugar, orange and pineapple juice and stick ya with cloves. You'll be the hit of the feast baby!" See, I don't think Mom realizes just how stupid that really sounds. (Fine she never really said that, but in my imagination every ham she ever cooked got that treatment.)

I don' think my mother is fully aware of the mental scaring she has caused me through the years. It all started with Bertha, if that's her real name. She was not my friend. And chances are, if I "met" her today, I wouldn't like her anymore than I did back in the day.

Bertha was created one lovely evening when I was about 6-years-old. I heard my mom call to her, "Just a little more pepper, Bertha, and you'll be ready in no time."

I skipped into the kitchen to investigate the unfamiliar smell. "What's that smell?" I asked with my nose crinkled.

I could tell it wasn't going to be such a lovely evening after all. I got onto my tippy toes, (yes I still call them that) and peeked into the pot.

"Dinner never smelled like that before," I said with my nose still crinkled. "What kind of dinner is it, Mom?"
"It's Bertha."

Thankfully, at the time, I didn't know anyone named Bertha. However, I was certain Bertha and I were not going to get along.

Bertha turned out to be a hot tuna casserole of sorts. If I try hard enough, I still can smell it today. (GAG) As an adult, I now realize, Bertha was one of Mom's more creative concoctions. Not good, just creative.

This Sunday is the first time I will make a holiday meal for my side of the family. I'm excited to have the family out to my house, in the middle of nowhere. And you can bet your sweet patooties that every single morsel will have its own name. If you have any ideas, please feel free to leave them in my comments.

Happy Easter to all those celebrating. Lois Lane will be away from her computer until Monday. Please take a look at some of the older stuff in my sidebar and visit some of the fine folks I have linked in my absence. I suspect I'll be back Monday afternoon with a holiday hangover story or at least tell you all about how I kicked Angie's ass with "Lamby".