Being Bud

budThis week, three people posted on my Facebook page about the latest hurricane being named Hurricane Bud. My first thought was, Really? When did they start naming Hurricanes after men? After all, one of the riddles of my childhood was, Why do they only name Hurricanes after women? The (hilarious) answer was, of course, Because if they named them after men, they’d be himmicanes. Actually, they started using men’s names (along with women’s) in 1978. So here’s a thought … given the general confusion our species seems to be undergoing about gender, how long is it before we have gender-neutral names. And will we then have to use those names for tropical storms. And will they be called theyicanes?    Having a hurricane named after me left me feeling a bit conflicted. Most of my life I’ve been a very good student … A’s were preferable, as long as they didn’t take too much work, and anything below a B embarassing. So, shouldn’t I want my hurricane to be a Category 5 (156 mph winds), or at least a Category 4?  But do I want to have to see the devastation I caused on the evening news? I felt a little relieved when I read that I would probably blow myself out before I made land fall … but the notion was a little deflating, too. I was pleased to read this morning that I may bring desirable rainfall to Southern California in the next few days. Who doesn’t want to be desirable?

I really don’t know how I ended up being nicknamed Bud. Correction: I am known as Bud because my childhood nickname was Buddy, which by college struck me as too juvenile for a man of my self-importance.  I don’t know how I ended up Buddy.   It could have been worse. In a letter I have from my mother to her Mom telling her she was pregnant, she refers to me a little stinkie.  I have noticed that frequently people nicknamed Bud or Buddy have real names that don’t lend themselves to abbreviation, like Xavier. In my case (because my real name is Francis), Buddy was certainly preferable to Fran or Franny.francis  And by the way, to Francis, who when I was a kid was known as a Talking Mule. Once I graduated from college and began working, I started introducing myself as Frank, my father’s name. According to legend, I was supposed to be Frank in the first place but at my baptism the priest pointed out there was not a Saint Frank and with my Dad away fighting the war, I ended up Francis. You can tell how people know me by what they call me: Buddy – high school or earlier; Bud – socially, college or later; and Frank – professionally.

The name Bud has its origin in Medieval England, where it meant brother. It is much more common as a nickname than a given name. Since men, particularly older men, are inclined to call other men whose name they don’t know Bud or Buddy, approximately 8.2% of the time, people who don’t know me get my name right. Friends, mostly men, have been known to kiddingly call me Budinski or Budweiser. Fans of South Park in my men’s group havebutters tried to stick me with Butters, after the show’s character Leopold “Butters” Stotch but I simply ignore them. They have also nicknamed me Bud Dark because we have two Buds, the other one apparently more jovial than I, hence named Bud Light.  Some years ago, my wife Muri started calling me Burgie (or Burg for short).   I have no idea how that started but she has a corresponding nickname. We’ve been doing it so long that we sometimes call each other by our pet names in public. Most people either ignore it or aren’t listening anyway, but not our grandkids. More than once, we’ve been asked, Why does Nana call you Burgie?

So, you can call me Buddy or you can call me Bud or you can call me Frank … just don’t call me Francis. And yes, around here you can call me Older Eyes.

Explore posts in the same categories: humor

Tags: , , , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

2 Comments on “Being Bud”

  1. Chas Says:

    as long as I’ve known you it’s always been Bud and we became friends in the early 50s.

  2. barrythewiz Says:

    You remember that when a federal investigator stopped by to interview me for your security clearance because we had known each other for many years, I told him I had no idea who Francis Reed was! He said, “Oh, I should have told you; it’s Bud Reed.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: