Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: This Just In...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

This Just In...

Greetings, blogosphere. Some of the more regular visitors to this blog may have noticed that a new contributor was added last week, and I am now posting to introduce myself. I am the ‘Brett’ that is occasionally referred to in postings; I can also be referred to as ‘partner’ or ‘significant other’, but most of you will come to know me by my Indian name: Wet Blanket.

Readers from North America might understand right away what I mean by ‘Indian name’, but for those who don’t, I will explain. First off, ‘Indian’ is not of India in this context. Instead, it is a reference to Native Americans who, according to Western pop-culture, were named after some quality they possessed – like Dances with Wolves. In my case, I am the type of person who could walk into a room full of like-minded individuals and spark a heated debate, or in other words, cast a shadow of doubt on consensus. If I find people looking at only one side of an issue, I’ll try to get them to look at it another way – even if they’re already looking from my favorite angle. If everyone thinks the world is crashing around them, I’ll try to bring them out of that perception; if everyone thinks they’re having a great time, I’ll try to bring the house down around them. It is this second tendency from which I draw my name.

I wish I could remember where I got the term ‘wet blanket’, but my understanding of it is that it refers to one who frequently ruins the mood; in my case, it would be whether the mood is good or bad. I, of course, chose my own ‘Indian name’ which is not common practice; Jennifer usually handles that because ‘Indian names’ are generally reserved for those whose real name we do not know but are, nonetheless, subjects of enough frequency as to necessitate a term.

For instance:

  • Guy with Trench Coat
  • Lady with a Bob
  • Stand-up Guy (repeatedly stands up and sits down on the bus)
  • Nurse Lady (regular bus rider who is a nurse)
  • Neighbor Guy
  • The Smoking Ladies
  • TMI (too much information) Lady

    Then there are some with longer names like:

  • Kid who works at Starbucks that reminds us of Jordan (Jennifer’s stepbrother)
  • Guy who plays guitar on lunch breaks
  • Guy who loves the bus a little too much (talks to everyone, including himself, about it)
  • Girl who’s always on her phone
  • Guy with that cool E-book reader

You get the picture. I think most of us probably ‘know’ people who go by names like these. Jennifer and I lovingly refer to them as “Indian names” to add an element of humor to our abundant ignorance and social ineptitude, but I hope not to be misconstrued as poking fun at Native Americans. For me, referring to the indigenous peoples of the American continent as “Indians” should be interpreted as poking fun at white folks’ stupidity. I mean, how long were Europeans here committing genocide before they realized they weren’t in India?

Anyways, back to the point of this post. I will likely not be a frequent contributor to this blog, and what I do contribute will almost certainly fall under the category of ‘random musings’. Those of you who may have visited me at Parade of Rain are probably familiar with the infrequency of my postings. As for material, I can’t say what to expect. Some ideas just never reach a level of comprehension that can be articulated. So, my presence here is also likely to be sporadic, but it is also possible that the bulk of my contributions will appear in the commentary. I am not a journalist or a cook – just a thinker. Some days it’s all I do.



12 comments:

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Haha I love the concept of "Indian names." Now I want to think of Indian names for all the people I know/see around town.

Brett, your post is too funny!

jessy said...

well hello, Brett! it's nice to hear from ya. and i look forward to more posts from you someday soon, too! oh - and your post had me cracking up - so thank you! :)

Bianca said...

Welcome Wet Blanket! Nice to finally meet you!

I totally do that Indian name thing too! Like we have this homeless man who wanders around Midtown Memphis holding his eye all the time. We call him Crazy Eye Guy.

Another guy also carries a basketball in a milk crate. He's really tall and wears high-water pants. So I call him High-Water Pants Guy with the Milk Crate. Not very original, but descriptive.

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

So your introduction was FAR better than mine was. Even if you were making fun of me for my inability to remember anyone's name, even when they tell me many times.

However, I see one glaring omission from the list: Man Sir Dude Guy.

Explanation for others: There is a Russian gentleman who lives in our neighborhood (actually lots, but that is beside the point), anyways, we gave him our old car. Turns out his name is 'Mansur' pronounced "Man Sir", well, since two were already covered it seemed obvious to give him the Indian name of "Man Sir Dude Guy". I always smile when I see him in the neighborhood.

Oh, and I must state for the record that the Guy with that cool E-book reader, really has one kick ass e-book reader, I am jealous! I think he might have got the impression that I was 'checking him out' on the bus, but I was really eyeing up the e-book reader, I'm really a nerd and probably shouldn't admit that I check out electronics over attractive people....

Wet Blanket said...

I actually knew Mansur's last name at one time, since I went with him to get the license and all, but he will forever be Mansur Dudeguy to me.

Jennifer,

Personally, I find it very comforting that you check out electronics over attractive people. Then again, I have reason to be biased on this issue: it means I sometimes get cool toys ;)

Wet Blanket said...

Bianca,

Descriptiveness is what's important. Creativity defeats the purpose which is to convey who you're talking about.

And I commend you for neglecting to start his name with 'the' or 'that'. We should only use those types of names for famous people whose names we don't know or can't think of. Like 'The lead singer from Jethro Tull' or 'That lady on that nanny show'.

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

The Indian Name approach seems quite useful. MD and I tend to name people not according to their physical description but according to the dogs they walk. I guess I check out people's dogs, not electronics.

Vegan_Noodle said...

Welcome wet blanket! I enjoyed your random musings and look forward to more!

Cookiemouse said...

We must be kindred spirits. I also love to take the opposite point of view. Often gets me in a load of trouble. Guess my name should be Cold Shower!

Wet Blanket said...

lisa,

That's very interesting. It also reminds me that both my brother and I used to name people according the make, model, color, year, or any other descriptive characteristic of the car they drove. It wasn't until we got rid of our own car that I stopped doing this. I imagine my brother still does.


cookiemouse,

With such a personality, it's easy to see how caution can become a guiding principle in one's life; I can say that for myself, but I'm guessing the same could be true for you as well. It is those who operate without caution that are most useful to the maintenence of the status quo. I don't say 'without caution' in reference to those who are wreckless individuals, but to those with insufficient need to censor themselves so as not to stir up controversy. Without a need to censor oneself, it is reasonable to assume that one might also be unfamiliar with the concept of caution. Perhaps this explains, in part, why people can be far more wreckless in large numbers (like governments, news organizations, corporations, nations, angry mobs, consumers, investors, etc.) than they could ever hope to be on their own.

Chile said...

Wow, all this time I thought my sweetie and I were insulting our neighbors. Actually we were giving them Indian Names...like "Psycho Kid", "Scumbag", and "The Little Shits" (encompasses all four screaming brats in one family belonging to "Drunk").

Wet Blanket said...

Chile,

I have no response....still laughing.