By Barbara Poelle
It’s official. I have Ben Bernanke Tourette’s.
No, I do, and I am not alone. Husband has it, too.
It’s like on February 1, 2006, Husband and I were struck with a very rare form of OCD known as “Bernanke Blurt”, which is a compulsive and undeniable urge to shout the esteemed chairman’s name back at the TV whenever it is said. It’s as if we are forever embroiled in some sort of horrific fraternity drinking game.
It is especially prevalent with all of the bru-ha-ha of late as some sort of economic something or other is apparently happening in this country. So now it’s like we have SEASONAL Bernanke Blurt. Oh, and people? It is airborne. For example, Husband can be watching TV in the living room while I am in the office and even if I don’t hear the newscaster say Ben Bernanke, I hear Husband say it, and so then I say it.
Ugh, boil the water and unspool the bandages, ‘cause we got it bad.
I have to tell you, though, it is just so satisfying to say. It’s like licking frosting from the beaters. If this is what it feels like to wash your hand 17 times then, wash on, dear friends, wash on.
It’s like sitting in noodles!
It’s like dunking your whole head in pudding!
So much power in just a name.
Like this great exit on the way from LA to Vegas: Zyzzyx Rd . Each time I drove from LA to Vegas (um, enough to truly appreciate the phrase “What happens in Vegas…”) I would compare Zyzzyx to my maiden name which had a few extra consonants- like all good Polish girls do- and think “Phew, at least my name isn’t Barbara Zyzzyx”. But now I am not so sure. I mean, come on, Barbara Zyzzyx definitely knows conversational Cantonese and looks good in leather pants. Barbara Zyzzyx can sense rain in her left shoulder, as an old bullet wound always seems to tighten before that first whiff of ozone. Barbara Zyzzyx never falls down in airports while her husband hollers, “I mean Babe, really, what is WRONG with you?”
Barbara Zyzzyx is the kind of lady we all could really get behind, not only because she remains upright in crowds, but because she has a hero’s name. There is something so mystic, so personal, about authors choosing their character’s names, and I have always wondered how they know when they’ve got it, that perfect name. Because unfortunately, while there are some truly forgettable plots out there, they are coupled with some doubly forgettable character names. But then there are those jewels, those mysterious marriages of story and character that just explode off of the page (or off the screen!) with some character names that really just ring my bell.
Like, John McClain from the Die Hard quadrilogy (Yes, it is. It’s a quadrilogy). And of course the yummy Jack Reacher penned by Lee Child. Whoops, now I am on a role, names like Hermione Granger, Stu Redmond, Blanche DuBois, Randall McMurphy, Jane Eyre, Howard Roark, Scut Farkus, Astrid Magnussen…just to name a few.
And I know that there are other names from past novels that I love, and those in future novels I look forward to discovering. And some of those names are being thought of and penned right now, this minute- oh, how can I possibly stand it? What’s in a name? Everything!
In the meantime, I suppose I must be content with good ol’ Ben Bernanke.
Ahhh, like resting your cheek in cheesecake, isn’t it?