Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sticks and Stones...

Do I look like a Mark? I don’t really know. But it is what I’m invariably called.

My name isn’t Mark, its Karl, which is something I make a point of mentioning every time I meet someone new. I do understand that sometimes you can get a name wrong, but if that was the case then I’m sure I would be called any number of names; but it’s always Mark.

Some people refuse to call me anything else. One customer actually argued with me when I corrected them:
“No you’re not, your names Mark” they said
“Actually, its Karl, it’s a popular mistake...” I begin to say before they ran roughshod all over my gentle protestations.
“No, you definitely introduced yourself as ‘Mark’” 

Of course, I realise that they were probably just embarrassed at getting my name wrong, but do they honestly think that their 'momentary lapse of memory' constitutes a trip down to the deed pole centre and a pile of paperwork amendments just so as they don't have to admit to being a half wit; or a full-wit, in some extreme cases. 

What do you do with someone like that? Do I argue the point and fight my corner or look like a loon who's lost his marbles an forgotten his own name?

But all adamant customers and belligerent bosses aside, why do I get called Mark? And what does a Mark look like?

Well the obvious answer would be, a ‘Mark’ looks like me. But that’s not right, because I know plenty of Marks and none of us share compatible features or mannerisms; and if we’re going down this line, what does a Karl look like, besides a Mark. It’s all very confusing.

So I went online and goggled ‘What’s in a name’ and it wasn’t that much help.

Shakespeare said: That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." So no mention of Karl’s and Mark’s there then. Then I looked up ‘Karl’ and it’s a German name, meaning ‘free man’ and that’s not true because I once went out with a Karen, which according to the name definitions means ‘pure’, but try as I might there was no mention of how quickly that changes when the Jäger bombs come out.

Mark, on the other hand is something to do with ‘borders. If you’re a ‘Mark’ then you were used to signify a boundary. All Marks out there (including myself, apparently), will take heart in the fact that we use fencing posts and hedgerows now. But this knotty little conundrum lends itself to another question: will the name Mark be phased out in the future and be replaced by ‘Fencing’, and will future Karl’s be referred to as Fencing too?

My kids think I should drop the subject and get a life. But then whose life, Karl’s or Marks?

See my problem? Any suggestions?


Karl aka Mark or is it Mark aka Karl...or shall I drop the lot and start calling myself as Fencing or ‘fence’ for short?

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  1. I can only think of 2 things that might be causing this. The first is the "k" sound in Karl. If they can't quite remember what your name is, but they remember that it has a "k" in it, Mark would be a common enough first guess.

    Or possibly, due to your prolific and profound social and cultural observations, they are confusing you with Karl Marx. I'd go with the latter. XD

  2. I love your thought process, Don. I think I'll go with the Karl Marx or is it Karl Marks...oh hell, here we go again!

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