Thursday, 10 September 2015

What’s in a Name?

Siloence is GoldenI went to the doctor with a sore throat and came back with laryngitis; that’ll teach me! I have to stop talking – for a week! (my wife said the hardest thing would be not talking to myself which I do a lot) Hot drinks are banned (oh, my beloved tea!) plenty of cold water and rest for my throat. This is new to me and quite painful. I don’t get things like this. Arthritis and haemorrhoids are more my territory, those and a morbid distrust of builders; but that’s another story.

Laryngitis is an inflammation of the voice box and gives you – a sore throat. Is it just a fancy name for a sore throat then? I suppose it is. I have been here before. Years ago I went to the doctor with a bad back and came home with lumbago, which is a pain in the lower back – a bad back.Effectively, I told my doctor I had a pain in my back and he told me I had a pain in my back. What is it about Latin and ailments? Do the experts imagine that walking out of the surgery with a Latin name makes the suffering more bearable? Anyway, enough of my ailments, or aegritudines - Silence, monk, Latin, I didn’t just throw this together you know.

The doctor I saw was a charming young woman by the name of ‘Doctor C. Green.’ I don’t know what the C stands for but what a great name for someone working in a city by the coast! But that’s nothing compared to the name of my optician; Charles Dickens! The most cheerful chap you could ever hope to meet so I assume he has forgiven his parents and learned to live with it. I wonder how many times someone introduced to him at a party said, ‘You’re kidding!’ I promise I never have. I was not at that party.

When we watch TV (something we do with increasing infrequency these days. Have you seen the dross, the parade of grotesques – grossly fat, alarmingly thin, disfigured by bad taste, botoxed, occupationally retarded, stupidly drunk and eminently arrestable -  that passes for entertainment night after night these days?) But when we do watch I am pleasantly surprised by the deliciously exotic names I can find in the credits. Just flicking through the TV guide I find Claudia Winkleman, Olly Murs, Yannick Bisson (Murdoch Mysteries), Elijah Wood (well, he would), Barbara Broccoli (good for you?), Kirsty Wark (Too attractive to be an alien surely) – and those are the famous ones.

Watch the TV news and see the names that come up in the strapline during interviews. They are positively brimming with the exotic, the mysterious, and the downright quirky. If I was writing a story and wanted to come up with eye-catching and memorable names one night of viewing would give me all I need. Of course, I would have to time it so I only watched the credits; there’s only so much a man should suffer for his art.

With regards the laryngitis, that not talking to myself thing is going to rob me of some seriously important therapy and, by the shape of this post, you are getting a session free! I am going to have to write more, that’s all, and change the names to protect the guilty (but you know who you are). I was looking for a picture of a Trappist monk to go with this meandering piece on silence when I came across this picture. I thought it was hilarious; I also originally thought it was surely a hen night but, to my delight, it was every bit as good as it first seemed.


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