I have a novelty name.
I’m not surprised that this is something my dad gave me. See, he’s the type to store a vacuum cleaner in a closet, turn around at me, and beam, “Man, that thing sucks!” I mean, clever puns are one thing, but I think my dad actually prefers cliched, overused puns.
Imagine, then, the glee he derives from being known as “Mr. Wright.” If your imagination needs some stimulation, may I remind you — or rather, allow my father to cheekily remind you — that he was born (W)right. And he has been (W)right his whole life.
That’s not to say I myself haven’t taken the opportunity to exploit my novelty name. Examples:
Acquaintance: “So you’re a writer?”
Me: “Nope, just a Wright!”
Me: “He’s actually Australian.”
Acquaintance: “Oh, is that right?”
Me: “No, I’m Wright!”
Acquaintance: “You’re Kristy, right?”
Me: “Yup, you got both names!”
Despite the novelty jokes, “Wright” is a fairly common name. There are a couple other Wrights at whatever school or other large organization I’m in, and no, we’re not related.
As a writer, I lose the vanity of a special, memorable name. Not only that, I know that nothing will be named after me as historians are afraid of treading the terrible territory of confusing puns such as “the Wright papers” or “the Wright move.” No figure skater will perform the “Wright;” no politician will be caught in a classic “Wright.”
So forgive me if I end my TV news segment by saying rumours of hurricanes are “pouring in,” or that fallen power lines during the ice storm were “chillingly” close to your home. I have centuries of expectations to live up to, after all. It’s something of a family business.