I received word over the weekend that one of my essays about breast cancer is going to be included in an audio book. I didn't realize publishers were still committing books to audio CD, so this came as a pleasant surprise. I was even more pleasantly surprised when the reader, "the voice", contacted me to make certain he could pronounce my name accurately when he recorded in-studio.
I told him it's pronounced "Tod", though my wife calls me "Sweet-heart" or sometimes "Tooshie". I told him I wouldn't mind if he used "Stud" or "Mega-Muffin" either.
Then he informed me he was only interested in accurately pronouncing my last name. I was totally embarrassed.
"So, how do you say your name?" he wanted to know.
I told him I would not be offended by any rendering, that he could have at my name, have fun with it, and just see how it came out on the recording. I've outgrown attachment to my name anyway.
After all, my daughter calls me "Dad", my son calls me "Weirdo" and my friends call me "the nut next door". And you already know what my wife calls me.
Someone says, "Mr. Outcalt" . . . I don't even flinch.