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The Killer With Your Name

Posted September 9th, 2010 at 10:20 AM by Sylvano the Wasabus
I was reading news the other day when a name in the headlines caught my eye- it was the name of an acquaintance of mine. But the headline said he was on death row. I looked up the story, found a picture and it was not the same dude.

I was reminded of another acquaintance, one whom I was on my way to meet, only to hear a warning on the radio that a dreaded child molester was just being paroled in this area with the name of my acquaintance. Turned out to be a different guy by the same name, but it gives one pause, doesnít it?

I ended up not becoming friends with both of those guys and even count the later amongst my enemies now.

Do you think names influence behaviour? Do all the Daves or Michaels you know fit into a certain category- have something in common? There are a couple names I steer clear of- nothing but bad experiences over and over again. (eg. Never trust a Doug)

If you have a common name are you judged and treated a certain way? I know a lot of Daves, and they are all kind of the same. Does your name influence your behaviour and personality? Or does it influence the way people treat you- which then influences your behaviour and personality? Which then influences the way people treat you?

Do we have preconceived ideas about names? I think we do. A conservative family might name their son John and he will likely be conservative. A less than conservative family might name their daughter Starla, and the Starla I knew was definitely not conservative.

What if you have a unique name, an unusual one? If I name my kid Syvarris, will he turn out to be more unusual- or will he somehow subconsciously attain characters of the defined Syvarris?
Think of the unusual people you know - Do they have unique names, or common ones?

I always thought I had a bit of an usual name but when I think back there are three others that I know of that share my first and last name label. Apparently my father named me after a man that he thought was a very good man. He died before I was born, but that sounds promising doesnít it?

When I was in high school there was another guy with my exact name- and we were total opposites. I was very quiet, shy, a good student and almost never in trouble. And when I did get in trouble, it was unusual and very interesting trouble. The other guy was a poor student and was called down to the office at least twice a week for very ordinary trouble. I remember the first time he was called down, because I went when I heard my name. There was a long line of jean-jacketed guys with long hair and they all smelled like smoke. I waited my turn in line and when I got to the vice-principal, he looked at me and blinked in surprise. He knew me all right, but by face, not name.
ďWhat are you doing here?í he asked
ďYou called my name.Ē
ďOh.Ē And then he figured it out. ďNot you, the other one. Donít ever come down when you hear your name because it will always be the other one.Ē

I donít know if I ever was actually called down, because I never went again. Sometimes it helps to do as you are told. Do you think maybe I did get in trouble for some of the things I did but the other guy with my name took the blame for it?

I never actually met the guy with my name- I think I saw him once- he was blonde and scruffy, smoking, and shorter than me. A couple years after high school he was drinking and driving in his van and hit a pedestrian. He decided to leave the scene of the accident. So he drove all the way home. He didnít know that the pedestrian was trapped under the van and smeared the poor person to death. That fellow with my name is in jail for a long time....

And then there is the famous recluse with my name. Thereís a bit of oddity that runs in my familyís genes I think, and though these guys werenít directly related, they probably were anyway.

The story goes that there were five sons, and the father didnít want them corrupted (he also wanted them to stay and work the farm for him) so when anyone came over he made the boys go and hide in the barn. Eventually the father died and the boys, who were adults then, just stayed on the farm. (There had been daughters too but they were all married off)

When I met the brothers they were in their eighties. They used to sit four rows behind us in church. They were very dirty and all had long white beards- they looked like laid off Santas. Apparently they walked the 10km to church because they didnít drive. Their farm didnít have running water and in fact hadnít changed over the years at all. Well as time went by the brothers died, one by one until just one was left. The one with my name. He became sort of famous because a photographer took a bunch of pictures of him and the pictures were a big hit.

In my younger days I did a fair bit of walking. Maybe it was just restlessness, I donít know, but I thought nothing of walking 20km in the evening. (20km is about 9 miles). I hadnít thought or seen the old man with my name for quite a while.

One evening, I was walking far from home, out near the cemetery where my grandparents are buried. (they both died before I was born, so I donít know them at all). I went into their cemetery and was drawn to a particular spot- and there was a fresh grave, from the day before. And you guessed it; the old man with my name had been buried there the day before. I took the opportunity to say goodbye to him and wish him well.

It was a little like peeking into the future- seeing my name on the headstone, and the freshly turned earth.

All my children have unusual names, and it certainly has affected their lives. At first they were mortified when they had to correct every teacher about how their name was pronounced. But as time goes by (theyíre still a work in progress remember) they have made peace with their name-that-sets-them-apart and have become unique heros. Itís as if their unusual name gives them permission to be someone different. Or maybe thatís just a parent justifying giving their kid weird names...

Last night I asked my daughter about her name- we donít know anyone else who has it, and itís hard to pronounce. I asked if it had influenced her behaviour. She wasnít sure, but she said sheís never met anyone ďas unusual as herĒ.

Who has your name? Who did they kill?
Total Comments 10


Bolo's Avatar
An infamous serial killer that ate his victims has my name.
Posted September 9th, 2010 at 10:58 AM by Bolo Bolo is offline
chas's Avatar
Kharma sure is interesting. But some people change their names. Make your own fate this time around!
Posted September 9th, 2010 at 11:28 AM by chas chas is offline
There are numerous people with my name.

There's a fellow in California that works for the same company as me with my name and we have learned to push each others e-mails along very quickly.

A little while back I was sitting beside my wife visiting with my parents when she got a call on her cell phone. My Mother-in-Law was calling in a panic to make sure our boys were okay.
She had seen in the news that a 42 year old with my name had died in a car accident and there were "two other males" in the car. My wife assured her it was someone else and told me. My initial reaction was "I'm only 41 for gods sake" (it was a little while ago). It took me longer to realize she wasn't checking on my health and well being.

There are more out there and I've even heard from a few of them but I like to think I'm still unique. So do most people who know me ("don't want another like him").
Posted September 9th, 2010 at 11:36 AM by AMIS AMIS is offline
S1R_ART0R1US's Avatar
There was a guy who had my name in all of my math classes freshmen year. For the last math class I had gotten >100% on the midterm but ended up with a B- after the final. I emailed the professor to see what was up and our scores had been switched!
Posted September 9th, 2010 at 12:29 PM by S1R_ART0R1US S1R_ART0R1US is offline
Sylvano the Wasabus's Avatar
I worked for Save The Children in Malawi back in the 80's; and parents there named their children things like Box, Friday, Tree, etc. It was explained to me that death comes and calls your name, and so they were hoping to fool death. Then when the kids hit puberty they selected their own official names and were issued birth certificates.
The infant mortality rate in that area was 50%, so kids surviving was a gamble.
They all picked traditional, conservative names too.
Posted September 9th, 2010 at 12:57 PM by Sylvano the Wasabus Sylvano the Wasabus is offline
I bet you an Andrew Jackson that someone with my name is on the twenty dollar bill.
Posted September 9th, 2010 at 01:06 PM by ABOMINATION ABOMINATION is offline
ollie's Avatar
What's worse than hearing an acquaintance's name in a negative connection and finding out it isn't him is finding out that it is him. I discovered this a few years ago when an old schoolfriend showed up in the news as a terrorism suspect in Yemen. Most disconcerting.
Posted September 9th, 2010 at 01:17 PM by ollie ollie is offline
MegaSilver's Avatar
Well, my name's Tommy, and some kids call be Tommyboy after the movie....

But I AM NOTHING like other Tommy's, who are either dumb-acting/speaking, or trouble-makers. I am the opposite, with good grades and good attitude, and I'm nice to people.

I do not fill the mold with those that share my name. I know there's a saying, but I can't thnk of it right now...

Posted September 9th, 2010 at 01:54 PM by MegaSilver MegaSilver is offline
rednax's Avatar
While the song Alejandro was popular, I never heard the end of it (with my name being Alex).

What's even worse is that I'm taking Spanish this year, and my Spanish name is Alejandro.

Posted September 9th, 2010 at 05:12 PM by rednax rednax is offline
flameslayer93's Avatar
The males in the family with my name are all full of themselves and the other common family name is full of part time alcoholics
Posted September 10th, 2010 at 11:16 PM by flameslayer93 flameslayer93 is offline
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