January 16, 2012

From MLK to WJM

Since it's Martin Luther King Day, I figured I had to give him a little shout out.  This is a man that stood up, when most people sat down.  He spoke of equal rights and freedom for all men.  He helped change America, for the better.

The other day, I saw a sign that read: Closed for January 16th for MLK day.
MLK?  You were too lazy to print a sign that read: Martin Luther King.  Don't you think that we over use initials?  Why are we so hung up on the three-letter acronym?
It's a holiday and so, we'll play a game. Okay?
Can you get them all? (Let's do this like an episode of Dora the Explorer)
Let's start out easy, first.  Can you get all the acronyms?  Can you?  Come on, v├ímonos.
Good Job.  I knew you could.  Boots knew you could do it too.  Let's kick it up a notch and try some harder ones.  Are you ready? (pause)  I'm ready.  Are you ready for the harder ones?
Good.  I'm just happy that you are trying.  Just a couple more and we'll reach the end.  You can do it.  How many did you get, right?  (pause) Good job.  I think you are awesome.
Here's a couple tougher ones, yet.  Swiper no swiping.  Ready?
How did you do?  Wow!  Did you even go to school?  Maybe, this just wasn't your day.  I'm disappointed in you.  Okay, I'll give you one more chance...
Did you get the last two right?

In 1999, Shannon could not get the last two.  Why?  Because, I'm a cheap dope.  I know you are shaking your head in agreement with the last sentence and whispering, "he is cheap and he is a dope, but what does that have to do with the last two acronyms?"

Where is Bill going with this?  Crazy.  Where is Bill going?  Crazy.

Enough Dora, back to life, back to reality.  Well, here's a quick back story.  Shannon and I were engaged to be married December 4, 1999.  We had it all planned out.  We did all the stuff engaged couples are suppose to do before the wedding, and by that, I mean she did all the stuff.  I was the groom.  I pick a couple guys, rent a tux, and wait for my beautiful bride to meet me at the end of the aisle.  Meanwhile, she does everything else. And sure, I added my two cents in, because that is just the kind of guy I am...and those are the things we would change today if we were doing it all over.  (See above - cheap, dope)
Okay, so you get the picture...right?  Bill (cheap, dope, groom) Shannon (Beautiful, does everything, bride)

Let's rewind back farther, shall we?

My father was a bad man.  Not the kind of man like Shaft. My father was in fact, a down-right terrible human being.  (Come on, Bill, get funny, you are losing us)  I'll try.  His name is Frederick.  And it just so happens when I was born, I would be given a middle name, and I'll give you one guess what it was.  It was Frederick.  If you said anything else you should be embarrassed.  That's a bad job on your part.
(Note: This is Not Bill) - I was much more adorable than this ugly little thing.

Now, Shannon knew my disdain for my father, and also knew that I always said, in my high pitched voice, "When I turn 18, I'm changing my name to William James Merkh."  I said this numberous times.  So, I turned 18 and decided to change my name and heard, "Mr. Merkh, you can change your middle name for fifty dollars."
$50 to change my name?
I'm not paying that.  Who cares what my name is, for fifty big ones?  I can barely afford this acne cream.  (Remember I was young)  I am not changing it.    But, I forgot to tell Shannon.

Fast forward to just before the wedding.  Shannon sends out the invitations and there it was:

Shannon Lynn Briles is set to marry William JAMES Merkh.

"Who is William James Merkh?"  My family wondered.  I am...sorta.
It didn't matter what name I was, it was who I was.  So, if you have a bad middle name or first name or both...just make up whatever name you want.  Then start using that name.  Pretty soon it will stick and other people will start using it with you.  (Just a note: You can't use it for legal stuff)  It's fun, and when you do it- who can stop you?
Because as we sit back, relaxing, watching basketball, on MLK day, we think...
Martin Luther King
Oh yeah, his real name was Michael King.  He never legally changed it.  He decided to go by Martin Luther King and it stuck.  People started using it and here we are today with MLK day.  And you can do it too.  And if you don't believe me check it out, I dare you.
 Enjoy MK (Michael King) day, everyone!

Enjoy the time off,