That’s Not My Name (x4)


Do you ever dread ordering things over the phone because of your name? How about introducing yourself to a stranger at a loud bar? No? You have no problem with this? Your name must be something hip, like, “Purple” or “Cucumber”. For us po’folk who have a name that sounds similar to another name, introducing ourselves can be quite aggravating, whether it be over the phone or via face-to-face confrontation. You’ll either have to spell it out for the other person or simply sit through a long list of them spitting out names before you go all, “CONGRATU-FUCKIN-LATIONS! YOU FINALLY GOT IT RIGHT. BYE.” on them. And, with a name like “Manny” you can only imagine which ones I get called (actually, some of them are pretty unbelievable). I’ve been called Danny, Mandy (do I look like a fucking Mandy to you?!), Randy, Manti, probably Aaron or Chris; it’s stupid. My name’s been misheard so many times, I probably should just make up a name the next time I order something (“What’s that? You want my name? Oh, yeah, it’s Ambulance”). Every so often, when my name is heard and spelled correctly, I want to give the other person a couple bites of my meal as a trophy, but then I think back to the pain and depression I get when people mess it up and I rescind my offer. Up until a couple weeks ago, when I was given a nice surprise…

It was a brisk, fall Sunday morning in Northern Virginia. The birds were chirping, the leaves were falling, and one of my roommates and I were on our way to a local Wingstop (the perfect way to ease the pain of being a Redskins fan). Now, kids from my high school have been going to this place for years, so we’re pretty much one big’ole wings loving family, but there have been some new employee additions, which meant the girl at the register didn’t know me. Seeing as how I hadn’t been to Wingstop in quite sometime, I wasn’t going to let the chances of her mishearing my name spoil my 100% grass-fed, certified-A chicken wings. I swallowed my pride, placed my order, was told it would take 14 minutes, folded up my receipt and sat down.

14 minutes later

At this point I’m starting to get antsy. I take my receipt out of my pocket to see what time I placed my order (don’t give me a time and not stick to your word, god damn it), already embracing myself for the “MANDY” I’m going to read at the top of the receipt, and that’s when I saw it. I froze. My eyes got wide, like the first time I ever saw a naked woman in the movies (not like when you’re watching said movie with your parents, that’s usually when you pull the, “is someone at the door?” card). I can’t believe what I’m reading. Right under the time of the order, which was MORE THAN 14 MINUTES AGO, was a name. A name I’m well aware of. A name I have never seen before in these situations. A name that almost brought a tear to my eye: Manuel.

No, Charlie Day, that IS my name! Can you believe it?! I certainly can’t!

After my excitement wore off, I started to freak out a little bit. Was this a woman I met in another life? How did she know my real name? Did she travel back in time to let me know everything was going to be alright? So many questions left unanswered. I didn’t even care that I told her my name was “Manny” and she put “Manuel”, so, technically speaking, she still got it wrong. I was in complete shock, yet it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Yeah, I’ve graduated college; witnessed the Red Sox win the World Series not once, not twice, but three times in my life; traveled to islands off the coast of Portugal; but, this? This is what dreams are made of.

I learned a pretty valuable lesson that day: when people ask for my name, I should use “Manuel”. That, or seek out the Spanish people when placing my order. They almost always get it correct.




Last Friday I wrote this extravagant post about ketchup, went to reread it for mistakes when I got home, and was shocked to find out that it didn’t save. It was complete bull shit. So, I will try my best to remember all that was said for your enjoyment.

For those of you who do not know me, I am completely terrified of ketchup: the sight, the taste, the smell, the feel, the sound (yeah – it definitely has a sound) EVERYTHING. I don’t know when or how this phobia even started, but ever since I can remember I’ve steered clear of said condiment. I can be around someone who is eating that grotesque thing people refer to as “the heavenly blanket that tucks their cheeseburgers in”, but if you offer it to me I will turn it down faster than Charlie Day turns down a free trip outside of Philadelphia. My hatred of that tomato paste is so intense that I’ve gone as far as drawing a sign that says “POISON” and has a skull and crossbones on it for 30-minutes one night, just to tape it to the bottle my roommates have in our fridge. Some of you may think that’s a little much, but I thought it was necessary.

The Sight: Have you ever taken the time to sit and examine ketchup? I mean, have a record-setting staring competition that not even a manikin could win? Well, I haven’t. BUT, from a close enough distance I have, and let me tell you this: it’s so fucking red that it almost looks fake. Seriously. It’s so grossly red that it’s like looking at a bad injury; you just can’t look away. I wouldn’t be surprised if Crayola has it’s own colored crayon named “Ketchup”, because there’s nothing in the class of red that compares. Oh, and remember those green and purple colored Ketchup’s they came out with in the 90’s? Talk about a nightmare come true.

The Taste: The following list represents the ingredients of Ketchup. I’ve only ever accidentally tasted this wretched poison, and I’m pretty sure I threw up, so my description of the taste wouldn’t paint you a good enough picture: TOMATO CONCENTRATE FROM RED RIPE TOMATOES (ew), DISTILLED VINEGAR (double ew), HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP (isn’t this the stuff that makes you fat, more prone to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease?), CORN SYRUP (sounds like a close relative to High Fructose Corn Syrup, so I’ll use my logic and say it’s practically the same thing), SALT (betcha it isn’t kosher), SPICE (pretty sure that’s a drug), ONION POWDER (this sounds like kitchen-talk for “cocaine”), NATURAL FLAVORING (semen’s natural and, from what I’ve heard, has a flavor).

The Smell: Yesterday I went to the Nats game with my girlfriend, my roommate, and my dad. Around the third or fourth inning, we all went to go get some food. I was determined to get a Five Guy’s burger, even though it was on the opposite side of the stadium. So, my girlfriend and roommate set out on the quest of getting one. We get to where the escalator is, and to our surprise it’s still running up. Filled with fury we were forced to take the walk way, which has an angle of decline of probably three-degrees. After walking what seemed like 10 miles (fucking walk way), we get to where Five Guy’s USED to be. Yeah, you read that correctly, it’s not there anymore. Turns out we wasted 15 minutes walking there, because there was a burger stand two sections down from our seats. What does this story have to do with ketchup? Well, we completed the circle around the stadium and went to the burger stand. I got my burger, go over to the condiment stand to get my napkins and a straw and set my burger basket down on some ketchup that some ASSHOLE leaked onto the counter. Not knowing what I just did, I pick up my basket and get ketchup all over my hand. My face turned white. My hand smelled like Ketchup all day. Seeing how there’s ketchup contains vinegar, and vinegar smells like shit, I leave you with this: If A=B and B=C, then A=C. Fuck you, Five Guy’s.

The Feel: Ever feel a dead persons cold, clammy hands? If you haven’t, don’t worry – just splatter some Ketchup on your hand and you’ll get the same feeling.

The Sound: Now, this is kind of far fetched, but I figured I’ve touched all the other senses, so I might as well bring’er on home with the fifth. If ketchup had a sound, it would be that of an 80-year old women who’s smoked since she was 12 asking where her martini is. The kind whose voice is as raspy as Macy Gray’s in her 99 hit-single, “I Try”. Yeah…pretty annoying.

Anyways, now you know one of the best ways to get me back if I ever did something mean to you. Luckily for me, I rarely do anything mean to anyone, so I’m safe. But, DON’T BE THAT ASSHOLE WHO USES KETCHUP ON ME JUST TO SEE A GROWN MAN CRY. I’LL FLICK YOU ON THE SHOULDER SO HARD, YOU’LL THINK YOU JUST GOT HIT BY A FUCKING TRAIN.