Weeks ago I asked a friend of fifty years if I could feature him in a blog post. I told him I wanted to address the issue of his peculiar glossolalia, which has resulted in him calling me hundreds and hundreds of different names over the decades, from the early “Bowsenger,” “Bowsengie,” and “Bowsie,” to the derogatory “Hun” and “Tiphead,” through “Zebulon” and then the truncated “Zeb”–and we haven’t even gotten out of grade school yet.
He assented and then started sending me odd words via text message. On July 1st he offered “Nigmobophilia.” (A love of drive-by racist epithets?) On the 3rd he reminded me of “Bigglesworth,” which he didn’t make up put lifted from the name of Dr. Evil’s cat in the Austin Powers movies. (Fairly recently he’s called me “The Big Stuff” and “Bigby,” both of which I am egomaniacal enough to like; but then the alliteration shaded over into “Bare Naked,” which I didn’t like at all, and then “Bear,” which is OK but echoic of what my high school sweetheart and I called each other in the early 70′s. Lately when I call him and he sees from the number it is me, when he picks up, he usually says “Bear!” with some enthusiasm. If he’s not enthusiastic about talking to me he’ll just let it go to voice mail.)
July 4, 9:21am, the message in its entirety was “BungBostrogNothPotnogronthomos,” which sounds to me like a moon of Mars that was discovered long ago but that is too embarrassing to talk about. It also makes me think that Oliver Sacks, who has made a latter-life career of writing about the effect of brain trauma on behavior, might enjoy studying this man.
His first name is Marty. His last name begins with a K. “Marty K” would make a good character in a Franz Kafka story entitled “A Babbler In Tongues.” But for the acrostic I haven’t written yet I’m going with “Marty The K.” This resonates with Murray the K, a disc jockey who got to hang out with the Beatles when they first came to America.
Here is Marty K’s portrait in progress, which I will acrosticize and complete, wrapped in some personal history, in Part 2.