Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

One of ol’ Robbo’s colleagues brought his small kid -about 5 or 6 years old or so – into the office yesterday afternoon.  As they made their way slowly down the hall, I could hear the colleague introducing the kid to various other colleagues.  “This is Brunhilde…….This is Ghengis…..This is Ichabod……” and so forth.

As he got closer and closer to my office, my toes began to curl involuntarily.   This first-names-only routine, especially when it involves children, drives me batty.  Some people say that our current politickal mess is closely interlinked with our advanced state of cultural rot, and that the former will never be resolved unless and until there is a massive reform of the latter.   I agree with the general sentiment, although I believe that arguing about which one – politicks or culchah – pushes the other is an exercise in chicken-and-egg futility and that what is needed is an “all of the above” approach.

Anyhoo, in this microcosmic instance, it seems to me that a return of decorum and deference to age through the elimination of this kind of casualness would be a positive step toward that end.

Also, it’s one thing when it’s somebody else’s kid and, arguably, none of my biznay.  What drives me especially batty is when my efforts to instill said values in my own progeny are thwarted.  When one of the gels accompanies me, I always introduce colleagues with, “This is Mr. Dewey….This is Ms. Cheatham…..You remember Mr. Andowe, of course?”  and so on.   Nine times out of ten, the response is, “Oh, call me Bill…..”


Fortunately, the colleague never quite made it to my office, so I was spared “This is Robbo”  and the unpleasant decision of whether to say, “I prefer Mr. Port-Swiller” or else just fixing the fellah with an icy stare.

(My apologies for my curmudgeonly tone here.  The port-swiller tum is acting up again, despite the medicinal and dietary steps I’ve been taking.  I notice from the archives that it seemed to flare up about this time last year, too.  Could acidity actually have a seasonal aspect?)

**Extra credit: Spot the quote.