Don't call me Ken

When I was born into this world I came out looking like a small Asian child, 9 pound 2 and destined to receive the name ‘Ashley’. While Ashley was the preferred choice of my exhausted mother, she was certifiably knackered from the evacuation of a nine pound ball of flesh from her inner sanctum, and at that point would most likely have agreed to call me anything. Once I was thrust forth from the womb, the old man took it upon himself to declare prophetically, “he shall be called Cameron!”. The Heavens roared in agreeance.

Where all that came from I remain unsure to this day. I'm not even certain that Cameron was on their shortlist. All i know is that I'm mighty happy I never ended up an Ashley. The only half cool Ash I've ever come across was the dude with the boomstick in 'Evil Dead', and even then he was played in real life by a guy named Bruce.

Thanks to my old man’s act of seemingly destined spontaneity, I was dealt an instantly more fortuitous existence. Cam is solid. Cam is your mate. Cam likes a good time, and he'll look out for your best interests. Classy, upbeat, responsible, jovial. Uncommon enough when faced with Jim, John or Mick; far from the wilderness of Hazari, Siberio and Moon-Unit. I don't think i could have scored better.

However there was a period back in primary school when I had my doubts. Alongside ‘10-pens’, snap bands and Roll Ups, finding out the original meaning behind your name was all the rage, and posessing a cool meaning was of utmost importance, in my head, anyway. Unfortunately i missed the boat with ‘Cameron’ - it turned out to be a Gaelic derivative of ‘cam sròn’ and meant, literally, ‘Crooked Nose’. I felt deeply shafted. The Joshuas and Johns of the class sat high and mighty in their ivory nooks blessed with their glorious Biblical etymology. One kid in my class, Ryan Kogelman, really came out on top - not only did he play footy, score chicks and have cool hair, but his name meant ‘King’ - King! I just couldn't compete. There would be no chicks or glory for crooked nose here, stranded with a bad name and a shithouse bowl haircut.

But that was a long time ago. I've since recouped from my early malaise and have recognised that the Cam-pros definitely outweigh the Cam-cons. I’ve been fortunate enough to cop a good dose of nicknames over the years, most of them genial and unoffensive. Camel, Cambo, Camus, Camshaft, Sharp View-Cam, Camel Toe, Camelot, just to name a few.

According to Namipedia, Cameron was the 53rd most popular boys name in the United States in 2008, wedged between Thomas below and Hunter above. Within the categories ‘smart’, ‘sexy’, ‘friendly’, ‘creative’, ‘strong’ and ‘sophisticated’, babynames.com rates me generously, an impressive 75% approval rating overall.

All in all America enjoys a good Cam. Just as well they enjoy a good Aussie accent. Unfortunately, they don't actually understand anything I'm saying, as my south-hemispheric drawl continually confuses the bejesus out of most of the people I attempt to acquaint with.

It is a rare yank that gets my name correct right off the bat. In order of frequency, here is what i usually get called instead:

1) Ken
2) Kim
3) Jam
4) Con
5) Cain
6) Cyan
7) Len
8) Callum
9) Kieron
10) Glenn

It still beats the hell out of Ashley...and I can handle Jam. But please, please stop calling me Ken.


Tom said...

have you encountered many Jam's, Cyan's or Cain's over there?

Dool said...

A couple of Cyans...maybe a Cain. No Jams of yet.

I'm keeping an open ear.

Sketch said...

I had to adopt a more american name in the States after the guy at Jack in the Box asked me whether I was creole or not, my traveling party and I proudly re-christened ourselves: Mike (or as he often got asked "Mark?")= Carl, Canaan= Chet, Dave was pretty good as is, Mick became Walter and being the most ethnic looking of the group I felt that a suitable sobriquet would be the humble title of Jesus. These served us well.

Dool said...

Nice one...Jesus, you creole sunvbitch.

Good to see you on the radar Sketch.