"It's supposed to be funny."


January 27, 2014

Hello, my name is Dustin Sam Alper. My first name is somewhat unique. I was the only Dustin in my high school. I guess that makes me more special than I already am, but there are some negatives about being so “special”. For instance, when I introduce myself to people, they usually think I said “Justin” instead of “Dustin”. I think this might be the reason why I’m terrible at remembering other people’s names. I’m so focused on pronouncing my name clearly that I forget to listen when people introduce themselves.

I’m also focused on the idea of having a middle name. What’s the reason behind it? People don’t go by their middle name – it’s just extra baggage. Kind of like that book your teacher tells you to bring to class and then you don’t use it. Your teacher doesn’t make sense, just like a middle name.

What also doesn’t make sense is the phrasing of the first, middle, and last name. You can come in first place and last place, but no one calls the “in-between” middle place. I think it would be better to call the first name a “front name” and the last name a “back name”. So then you would have a front, middle, and back name, which makes sense. I’m glad we figured that out, but we still have the problem of parents giving their kids embarrassing middle names like Beatrice (sorry Beatrice).

I guess having an embarrassing name is a reason to have a nickname. Most people who actually know my name call me Dustin. However, I’ve given myself several nicknames over the years just for fun: Dust, Dusty, Duster, Dust Buster, Dust Bunny, Durst, Dalps, D-Man, D-Money (that’s my bowling name), D-Unit, and my girlfriend calls me Master.

I don’t understand how signatures work. Like when you sign a check, a contract, or your soul away to the devil, how do people know you actually signed it? My signatures are never consistent. Sometimes my u’s look like i’s and by the end it’s completely illegible. On the signature spectrum, one end being a work of art and the other end being scribbles, my signature is somewhere in the middle – on a good day.

Please don’t call me Mr. Alper, that’s my father. Call me Master Alper. “Mr.” is used for a married man, while “Master” is used for an unmarried man. For more reasons than one I am most definitely not a married man. And yes, a Pokémon Master is an unmarried male who plays Pokémon – otherwise known as a geek.

If you think guy titles are confusing, girl titles are even worse. “Mrs.” means you’re married, that’s easy. But then there’s “Ms.” and “Miss”, they sound the same but mean different things. The title “Miss” is used if you’re not married, and “Ms.” is used if your marital status is unknown. To make life a little simpler, let’s compromise and combine the two titles to create “Mis”.

Unfortunately, most website account options don’t let you choose “Master” or “Mis” as a title preference. They only provide the standard titles: Mr, Mrs, Ms, and Dr. Even though I haven’t received any proper certification, I always put down “Dr.” So when I get a package and the label says “To Dr. Dustin Alper”, it makes me smile that I didn’t waste any money on an education in order to earn that title.

Adding up the title, front, middle, back, up, down, sideways, and diagonal name can be very confusing. That’s why today I’m unveiling my 9-9-9 Plan. It’s a plan to help people figure out what their name should be. You take the first 9 letters of your front name, add the first 9 letters of the alphabet, then subtract the first 9 letters of the alphabet, and whatever you’re left with would be your new name. So in this case, my name would be “Dustin”. And while we are talking about the alphabet, I personally think it needs an upgrade so we can start calling it the betabet. Sorry for the geeky joke. Actually no, I’m not. I’m a Pokémon Master.