“Good morning, gents,” waitress Beverly greets us more cheerfully than usual.
“Well, you’re in a nice mood,” I note. “What’s the occasion?”
“Yeah, what’s up your sleeve?” John questions suspiciously.
“Why it’s baby week. We’re celebrating the birth of the future King of England. Fill out this survey and you could be a winner,” Beverly hands us two questionnaires.
“Uh…what’s the prize?” John hesitates.
“We’re picking the baby’s name,” Beverly clarifies. “And we’re also featuring specialty coffees from the British Commonwealth all this week.”
“Baby names? I don’t know anything about babies,” John resists.
“A three-time loser like you?” Beverly challenges. “At least one of your wives must have a word or two or kids,” Beverly pours two cups of Jamaica Blue Mountain.
“Yeah, but only in sentences that included the words alimony and child support,” John shakes his head and leans back looking at the questionnaire.
“A royal rubric,” I mutter.
“A what?” John asks raising his eyes to meet mine.
“An eponym for an emperor,” I ruminate.
“What’s an eponym…”
A princely patronymic, lordly label, a sovereign sobriquet…” I alliterate.
“All right, all right, I get it already,” John emotes. “What the heck are we gonna name this kid anyway?”
Beverly brings us refills and notes “George and James seem to be the most popular bets so far.”
“Boring,” rejoins John. The Brits really need to get with the program. This is the 21st Century, folks!”
You’re right,” I agree surprisingly. “He has Scottish ancestry,” I sip heartedly from my second cup of Jamaica Blue Mountain. “How about Amhuinn…or Griorgair…or Skene?”
“You’ve gotta be kidding,” John protests. “He’d be better off with Broderic. Lachlan has a ring to it. But I’m partial to Tearlach.”
“How’re coming with the baby names?” Beverly wonders as she brings a third round of coffee and stands with her fist on her hip.
“Not too well,”John and I reply in unison.
“The Irish have lovely names,” Beverly looks into the distance. “Cumhea is cute…and Keandre is kinda nice…what do you think of Riobard?”
John and I exchange stares. “How about the Welsh?” we quickly encourage.
“Amerawdwr?” John says hopefully.
“On the other hand…Eiladar has some merit,” I offer.
“Well, there’s always KyndMyrn,” Beverly smiles insistently.
“No! There’s never KyndMyrn or any other names we mentioned. Why is this so hard?” John shouts in frustration.
“He’s the future King of England and his name will be repeated for decades. It has to be something regal, something stately, something that is strong and timeless,” I campaign. “I’ve decided.”
“Yeah, me, too. OK, here’s my choice,” John picks up his pen and writes a name.
“Well, I picked James,” I confess.
“Don’t feel bad. I put down George,” John admits.
“Here are our questionnaires,” I motion to Beverly.
“And what name do you want?” John asks as Beverly reaches our table.
“Something short, simple and easy to remember,” she reveals.
“And that name is…?”
“I wrote it on the back of your bill,” Beverly walks away.
“Seriously? Beverly is gonna label the kid with this name?” John blurts as we read the bill John and I look at each other in disbelief.
“You know what this means?” I finally recover.
“You got it, buddy. Skip the tip.”