So just what’s in a name?

Most of us have at least two names. Some of us have three or four—and that’s not counting the pet ones your sweetheart might give you.
These can range considerably depending on the mood she’s in at that particular moment. My wife, Norma, the “Pearl of the Orient,” has several for me—most of them unprintable.
But it’s the official ones that can cause us the most problem.
If you think about it, most first names can and are occasionally used as surnames. Likewise, most surnames can and are occasionally used as first names. No big deal, right?
The problem arises when some poor kid whose surname is more common as a first name has a moniker hung on him that is more common as a last name (whether it is done without thinking or parents with an unusual sense of humour, no matter).
Then to really foul things up, along comes the age of the computer—manned by unthinking, “rule-oriented” bureaucrats. And the fun begins.
Take Morrison Henry. Never heard of him, right. That’s because to try and keep things straight, many years ago he shortened Morrison to Moe (oh yeah, that guy with the whiskers formerly of Fat Frantic and now Hooterville).
Of course, having spent so many winters in the deep south, it has now been expanded to Col. Moeregard.
The only one I’ve ever heard call him Morrison is his long-suffering wife, Giggles, and then generally in a certain context and tone that goes something like, “Morrison, there will be no further discussion on the subject!”
Moe then will cast his eyes down and wisely stifle any reply he might have been contemplating.
Recently, Moe was in Thunder Bay availing himself of our health care system and procured a new hip joint. Everything having gone fairly well, the powers that be wanted him out of there while he was still healthy (there might just be something to the urban myth that the best place to catch a fatal infection is in a hospital and the longer your stay, the more likely you are to croak).
So, Moe was all set up to be transferred. Cranked up on enough pain-killers to calm a raging elephant, Moe was parked in a wheelchair at the discharge desk waiting for the land ambulance to transfer him to the winged one at the airport.
He was about to experience the pain of bureaucracy, computers, and fouled up names.
“We’re here to pick up Henry Morrison, a knee replacement patient, for transfer to the air ambulance to Fat Frantic,” explained the attendant, passing over a sheaf of paperwork that had taken about a half-acre of boreal forest to produce.
“No one here by that name, only this guy with a hip replacement,” replied the discharge person, handing the wad back to the attendant.
Moe came out of his drug-induced euphoria just long enough to try and explain that he was, in fact, the candidate and it was just a mix-up in the paperwork.
“No can’t be. The computer says clearly it’s a Henry Morrison with a knee replacement,” maintained the attendant and the discharge desk.
Two hours later, they agreed it probably was a clerical error and agreed Henry Morrison was really Morrison Henry. By then, Moe was writhing and moaning in pain, but another shot of morphine calmed him right down.
At the airport, the pilot of the air ambulance was frantic.
“Where have you guys been? I’ve got two other critical patients already on board. Let’s get this Henry Morrison with the dickie knee on board and get going,” ordered the frantic pilot grabbing the transfer papers.
“Whoa! What’s this? This isn’t Henry Morrison and this guy’s had a hip replacement, not a knee job. Strictly against regulations!” stated the pilot, bringing the whole operation to a grinding halt with Moe and the stretcher halfway through the plane door.
Two hours later, the paperwork was cleared and with a booster shot of morphine for each patient, the air ambulance was rolling down the runway for lift-off.
But at the hospital in Fat Frantic, admitting was adamant. We’ll take these two, but we haven’t a bed for this one. Our only other vacancy is reserved for Henry Morrison—a knee replacement patient.
Send this Morrison Henry back to T.B.
Moe began to whimper. A shot of Demerol shut him up, and it only took an hour to sort out the paperwork this time before rolling him off to his room.
After a night of wild, drug-induced, technicolour dreams, Moe was barely aroused from his stupor by the cheery voice of the nurse greeting him the next morning.
But the cold draft on his nether region brought things into focus as the nurse said, “Those drugs can sure bind up the bowels. This nice enema will break things loose and you’ll be moving in no time.”
“But . . . but . . . but . . .,” started Moe as he wondered, but was unable to express, how he was to make it to the bathroom without assistance.
As the nurse hurried from the room, she shot back, “Now, now, Morrison, there’ll be no further discussion on the subject!”

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