What’s in a (my) name?


What’s in a (my) name?

Starbucks Barista: Can I get a name for your drink?
Me: Sean.
SB: How do you spell that?
Me: The correct way!

I actually had this conversation with a barista one time at a Starbucks in Oklahoma City.  The barista laughed and finally said, “S-E-A-N?”  


I’ve don’t understand why they ask how to spell your name when they’re just calling it out for you to pick up your drink, but that’s another rant for another time.

My name has many bastardizations.  I was named after Sean Connery.  My parents were huge Ian Flemming/James Bond fans so I was lucky enough to get the correct spelling of my name.  And to be honest, any other spelling besides S-E-A-N is just plain made up….mostly by crazy American parents who think they’re being cool.  I mean, you’d never see a true Irishman spell it Shawn!

Brian Regan, one of my favorite comedians, has a beautiful bit about names.

“Hi, what’s your name,” Brian asks.
“Lezlee-i, with a z, two ee‘s, a hyphen, and an i.  What’s your name?”
“Brian, with a b, an i, the number 7, and three exclamation points!” {shakes head in disgust at her response}

Ok, so I embellished his bit, but you get the point!

When I was a kid, I didn’t know anyone else who spelled their name like mine.  We had a S-H-A-W-N and a S-H-A-U-N, but none like mine.  The first person I remember with the same spelling was Sean Puff Daddy Diddy-liscious Dimebag Combs.  God only knows what he’s calling himself these days.  I’m just glad he dropped the name Sean.  I do remember absolutely hating that a rapper had my name.  My name is the epitome of Irish culture!  Not a representative of rap culture.  

But as time passed, I started to see the spelling bleed into all social levels of society.  And as I got older and developed more of an appreciation for rap music, I felt less distressed by Puffalishous because the name was now becoming mainstream.

Granted, some give the name a…well…bad name!  Take Sean Hannity for example.  He gave the name the lunacy angle.  I believe he’s seriously mentally unbalanced!  He and Glenn Beck could provide all the research needed for the entire psychiatric profession…combined!  I don’t even think the cool factor of the two greatest Seans that have ever lived, Connery and Bean, can offset the damage Hannity has done to the name.

Locally, we have a couple of Seans that give the name a good name!  Sean Cummings is a local restaurateur who used to own one of my absolute favorite restaurants in the world: Boca Boca.  Unfortunately, Boca Boca ran its course and closed.  After several other iterations, Sean opened up a new Irish pub.  I haven’t been yet but I plan on heading over at some point for a Guinness and some fish and chips.

On the flip side, the year after I graduated from high school, a guy named Sean Sellers became famous in Oklahoma City.  As tragic as his story is, I tend to think he did less damage to this world than Sean Hannity.

Sean Sellers was, at the time, the youngest person to be put on death row for a crime he committed as a 17 year old in the United States.  Sellers murdered three people in northwest Oklahoma City from the fall of 1985 to March of 1986.  The first was a clerk at a Circle K who wouldn’t sell him beer.  The next two were his mother and step-father.  Sellers claimed that Satan made him do it and converted to Christianity in prison before he was executed in 1999.  In the 80s, there was virtually no crime in northwest Oklahoma City.  That section of the city was where all the wealthy people lived and all of this came as a total shock in our community.

We actually went to the same high school but I don’t remember him.  I was informed that for a short time, he was the doorman at a teen nightclub where my band played the summer after my high school graduation in 1985, but I have no recollection of that either.

At this point in my life, I’m happy that all these other Seans are gone (sans Hannity….that devil will never die!).  Puffs-a-lot is out of the public eye.  The cool Seans outnumber the bad Seans.  And the best part is that Sean Connery is still a sexy beast at 147 years old!  If I could only be so lucky.

The only thing that would make my life better is a date with Lezlee-i!  I’m betting I could search the tanning salons and find her.



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