What's in a name?
From time to time, clerks, secretaries and receptionists ask me personal questions so details can be added to
forms and files. The first question is pretty obvious: They want to to know my name. However, they don't say
"What is your name?" but "What was your name?
This indirect way of asking a straightforward question irritates me, and so I have made up a variety of answers:
"What was my name? The same as it is now."
"What was my name? I refuse to tell you. It's private."
"What was my name? You want to know what my name was before it was changed by deed poll?
"What was my name? You mean what it was before my sex change?"
"What was my name? Good job I'm not Elizabeth Taylor or I wouldn't know which name to tell you?"
Another pussyfooting way my name is requested is "What would your name be?
I reply, "What would my name be? Well, my mother told me if I had been born a girl my name would be Valsey.
Valsey, for God's sake. Thank goodness I was born a boy. What do you want to know that for?