Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cat Interaction to Misery Ratio

I am allergic to cats. It would not be far off to say that I am deathly allergic to cats.

When I am anywhere near cat related objects*, I get a strange feeling that someone has rubbed poison ivy ridden wool on the inside of my throat and the back of my eyes. A wave of fatigue hits me like a George Foreman uppercut in 1973. Sometimes, at first, I can avoid the temptation to scratch, but the will power never lasts, so I give in, I rub my eyes with reckless abandon. I then begin to cry emotionless tears, all the while wishing I could swallow a back scratcher or the rough end of a velcroe strip to soothe my itching throat. Then comes the sneezing. On average I will sneeze seven times in a row, and this will happen 10-15 times. All this together equals misery, sheer misery.

For every 20 seconds I spend interacting with any feline,** I in turn spend 1 minute in misery. This simple 1:3 ratio has ruined my life. If I am at a cat owner's house house for just 1 hour, my afternoon is ruined.

I have come to the conclusion, strangely enough, that I do not hate cats, cat owners, or pet stores that sell cats. I only hate the misery that they produce.

*Includes but is not limited to: cats, cat hair, cat dander, homes that house cats, people who like cats, Cat Stevens, Michelle Pfeiffer.

**I say any feline because I am assuming that I am also allergic to lions, tigers, panthers, and ocelots.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Devin with an i (or Bush not Butch)

My first name is Devin (with an i).

My last name is Busch (with a c).

There are a few things that go along with having this name. For one, every time I tell someone my name I have to spell it. Another being that I have been told many many times by people that I do not know that they were "going to name their child (gender doesn't matter) Dev(in)(on)(an)(un)(en). This has brought me to the conclusion that Devin is the most popular unchosen baby name in the country.

My first name can be spelled multiple ways (Devin, Devon, Deven, Devan, Devun). The thing I don't get is that the most common spelling of the name is not the most phonetic. I would say that upwards of 75% of the time when I give someone my name, they spell it some way other than with an i. Say to yourself "Devin" now say "in", "on", "an", "un", "en". Only the first one correctly completes Dev__.

Now, the fact that people don't audibly catch the silence of the "c" when I speak my last name is understandable. Busch can be easily confused with Bush (the name of one former and one former/current United States president, a word meaning a woody plant that is easily distinguished from a tree by its multiple stems and lower height, or the 90's British post-grunge band fronted by Gavin Rossdale). What is not understandable is the amount of people that cannot pronounce my last name when reading it. More commonly than not, I get "Devin B-Bu-Bustch?". In which case I just say, "It's just Busch (Bush), like the beer*." And people get that.

I have thought about changing my name to Devon Bush, but then I would just be another body with a number instead of a face. I also thought about going purely phonetic with Devin Bush, but I'm pretty sure that there was a Devin Bush that played defense for the Rams in the late 90's.

*Note: Everyone seems to know that Busch beer is pronounced "Bush" even though the beer is rarely ever advertised, nor do I know anyone who drinks it, nor have I seen it sold in more than 5 stores outside of St. Louis, MO. I have never even tried it. (Even though I probably should because I think I own it or something) You would think it would be higher on my list of priorities.