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Why I’m changing my name to Kumquat Ferrari

A man gets to a certain age and he starts to wonder what it’s all about.

  • What am I doing here?
  • Why are things the way they are?
  • When will Samuel L. Jackson say “no” to a script?
  • How am I the only one capable of putting toilet paper back on the spindle?
  • Why won’t the wife let me get a trained hippopotamus?

Now, me, I gave up on pondering any “greater meaning” possibilities a long time ago. As far as I can see, we are a lonely clod of dirt floating through a hail of rocks ranging in size from “make a wish” to “kiss your sweet butt goodbye.”

That doesn’t mean life has no meaning, mind you.

That may sound counter-intuitive but folks like me find all sorts of meaning in this life: smell a flower, feed a homeless person, feed a homeless person’s cat, mow a homeless person’s lawn—wait a minute!

One of the best ways to spend our time in a purposeful manner is by serving others. I, myself, as a great human who deserves to be patted on the back while throngs of fans genuflect before me, once spent part of a winter volunteering at a soup kitchen. Of course, we offered sandwiches, too, so maybe we were a soup-and-sandwich kitchen.

It was a good experience that taught me some valuable lessons about humility and gratitude. None of the clients we served behaved like they were owed something.

If anything, they were embarrassed to be asking for help. But enough about that depressing subject, let’s focus back on me and how great and humble of a humanitarian I am.

But, as great as I am, I think I could have been even greater if my parents would have given me a cool name. I mean, “Ben Gohs,” what is that? It’s not a name. It’s a stage direction.

You know who’s got a cool name? Al Roker.

Who knows what I could have accomplished if, instead of boring old Ben Gohs, I was Hector Villanovo or Bruce Balzac?

I can picture it now: Hello, my name is Kumquat Ferrari and I have come in the name of planet Earth. I claim this land for the United States of Taco Bell and her President Bill Maher. (Hey, it’s my fantasy.)

Maybe a rose would be just as sweet if it had a different name, but who wants a dozen “glunks” for Valentine’s Day?

I think the names we humans get can have a serious impact on where we end up in this life.

Oh, sure, the wild creatures like the bears and bees and monkeys don’t care about things like names, but that’s because they are dumb.

Have you ever seen a monkey drive a car? No. you haven’t. And if you have, then why didn’t you tell me about it?

I saw a bear ride a bicycle at the circus once but all he did was go in circles. If I was that bear I would have been like “Adios, suckers!” and I would have broke the hell out.

Can you imagine a bike-riding bear in the Tour De France?

I bet he’d maul the competition.

Seriously, he wouldn’t be the fastest but he could just bite all the other bikers and then take a nap and cross the finish line whenever he pleased.

Who’s going to argue with a 10-foot French grizzly? (Did I mention he was a 10-foot grizzly? I miss Grizzly Adams. Le Growl!)

Just look at all the successful people with cool and strange names: Charlton Heston, Fuzzy Zoeller, Wolverine.

What if Arnold Schwarzenegger had been named Wayne Smith? What if pizza was called “skirk” … what would you fellas like on your skirk? Does that skirk come with garlic crust? How many slices on a large skirk?

I’m hungry.

I haven’t done much as Benjamin Jon Gohs but just think what I could accomplish as “Kumquat Ferrari!”

I would have the confidence to conquer worlds, to reach for previously unknown heights—like breaking the land speed record on foot or getting my dog to stop barfing on the carpet.

Kumquat Ferrari could take on Martians, Russians, Al Quaedas and MetaboLife salesmens.

Kumquat Ferrari would make love with his boots on, instead of pawing confusedly under the covers in flip-flops until he is told to stop.

Kumquat Ferrari drives a jet-powered motorcycle with intercontinental ballistic missiles and a giant death laser, not a rusty green mini-van that fat chicks at Walmart all seem to mistake for their own.

Kumquat Ferrari likes to live dangerously, like prune juice and long walks through the mall, dangerously.

My idea of living dangerously involves skipping breakfast and writing this column an hour before the paper goes to print.

That reminds me, I think we have some leftover skirk in the fridge.

Kumquat Ferrari, out!

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