The Clown and the Rakes—part 2
Anyway, the rest of the pronoun-identity conversation is best saved for a different setting. I just used it to better frame the importance of names: they’re even more powerful than pronouns. Serious discussions about those topics are better addressed by others; you don’t show up for serious content from me though, right? Why would you expect a serious conversation from me anyway? That’s what I want to resolve:
Why do I treat everything like a joke or a game?
To answer this, I’ve decided to tell the origin story of Roybert—the name, not the person. (I realize how off topic this sounds,; I assure you it’s not…) Let’s begin!
NOTE: The usual content/trigger warnings still apply. (serious)
I was born unable to speak English. Instead, I spoke a more efficient, exotic language—arguably the most efficient: Waah! (yes, that includes the exclamation mark—you know, sorta like Wham!) It’s hyperefficient because it only has one word, but that one word puts in work. Here are the three core phrases in Waah!
- Yo, feed me! –> pronounced “Wah”
- Yo, clean up my shit! –> pronounced “Wah”
- Plebs, entertain me! –> pronounced “Wah”
See? Hyperefficient! Admittedly, its ambiguity hindered communication—though it’s a standard international language used exclusively by two life-warping demographics: babies and tyrants.
NOTE: Honestly, it's more like one demographic. Aren't babies really just socially acceptable tyrants? Or perhaps tyrants are socially unacceptable babies...
At the time I was a bit of both. Those were good times… I’ve since lost my touch; I can’t pull that off nowadays: I might get arrested or—even worse—cancelled…! Oh, the horror…
Ambiguity aside, the language suffered from other complications: it varied unpredictably. One day it was “Wah”; another time it was “Waaaah.” Sometimes it even incorporated nuanced gestures including—but not restricted to—*giggle*, and the terrifying *worry-instigating silence*… Understanding the fickle nature of the language, my parents seized control and chose my legal name for me—well, three legal names: my first name, my middle name, and my last name. Each one contains a unique backstory; each varies in importance. My first name’s by far most important, followed (distantly) by my last name, and finally my middle name. Due to privacy concerns (or at least for now), I’ll avoid using my legal middle and last names below—yet each one still merits discussion.
NOTE: Honestly, the actual names aren't even necessary for those stories; it's the stories that matter.
Let’s start with my middle name: it’s seven letters long. My parents used the last grapheme in Amma’s middle name and the first grapheme in Appa’s given name—in that order—to construct it. Nobody uses my middle name. It’s just there because it’s legally my middle name, plus the origin story’s kinda romantic, right?
NOTE: அம்மா (Amma) means mom; அப்பா (Appa) means dad; referring to them any other way feels awkward—too awkward... However, I'm writing in English, so I've used Amma (Mom) and Appa (Dad) as a compromise. I've capitalized each since they function like more like titles than names—like Bart calling his dad "Homer." Think of them as stage names or personas... As for their legal names, I'll be using "Mombert" and "Dadbert"... Gee, bet you didn't see that one coming...
That’s all I want to say about my middle name right now. It’s simple, yet tells you everything you need to continue this story. We’ll move on to my last name in the next part! It’s far more important, and infuriating…
Thank you for your time,
Roybert S. Henanigans
P.S. 96: I’ve updated my Contact Me page explaining how you can help me if you choose to. This includes a messaging form, my gmail address, my Twitter account, and a donation button to my Ko-Fi page. I’ll update specifics gradually. If there’s one thing I could ask for above all else, I’d ask for two—then I’d use one of those two to say that the best way to help is to share my work with someone.
On a serious note, thank you so much for reading—it truly means the world to me!