“On Picking My Chow Name,” by Matt Kolbet

Dec 6th, 2017 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Dear Mr. Loaf,

Can I call you Meat? I’m writing because we share an affinity for renaming ourselves as grub. You were once Marvin and became so much more. Likewise, I want the culinary glory of nomenclature from foodstuffs.

First, can you tell me what you think makes your name so powerful? Initially, I thought it was the syllables, the poetry of the language—two spondees that command the voice. This stirred me to consider possibilities for my own new name: Pork Bun. Beer Cheese. Fish Bread. Maybe I’m just dreaming.

Next, I thought it might be the number of sides that could go with the meal. Meat loaf (the meal) goes with rolls, steamed baby carrots, potatoes, corn on the cob, or even spinach salad. Your name denotes a tough guy, but one who still eats his vegetables. You don’t have to load the table, as there are so many quality sides available. As you know, Even Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad. Moreover, I know you’d do anything for love, and vegetables may be essential For Rock and Roll Dreams to Come Through. For Crying Out Loud, I don’t have to tell you, though. Right now you’re probably singing You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth. So, if the energy comes from how many side dishes accompany the main course, maybe I could be Pot Roast. Perchance, Turkey Tetrazzini. What do you think?

Or is the strength in the meat itself? Half of me wanted to christen myself Rice Pilaf, but maybe that’s too exotic (read foreign) for most Americans.

Even Shakespeare recognized the importance of a good name. In the balcony scene, Juliet laments that Romeo can’t be something besides Montague. If he were called Ravioli, he’d smell as sweet.

I know I can’t go with a single name like Mimosa. No Lasagna for me. After all, I’m not as creative and eclectic as Banksy or Björk. I can’t even aspire to Madonna or Cher levels of ingenuity.

As you can see, I’m stuck. Any advice about adopting a new name would be greatly appreciated.

Yours Sincerely,

Franklin Nathaniel Beans.


Matt Kolbet teaches and writes in Oregon. His most recent novel is Lunar Year.

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