A Boy Named Sue

“Hey Sue, how’s things?” Vincent asked.

Sue looked up from his work and grimaced. “How’s things? Hardly a grammatically correct sentence, Vincent,” he said.

“This from the man named Sue?” Vincent grinned, thinking himself original.

Sue’s grimace deepened. “Ha ha. How drole.”

“Wasn’t it?”

“I’ll have you know, Susan was, at one point, a name for both males and females.”

“Well, it’s currently a name for women, Sue. Why not change it?”

“Why should I change, it’s society that sucks.”

“Indeed. Hey, was that – ”

Sue put his pen down with a slap. “- song by Johnny Cash written about me? No. Do I look old enough for that? Because if you say yes, I’ll slap you into tomorrow.”

“Ooh. Someone’s a little touchy. That time of the month?”

Sue took a deep breath, and appeared visibly calmer. Inside, though, the storm grew in intensity, and he started: “Aside from the rampant sexism prevalent in your statement, Vincent, the fact of the matter is that yes, I do become rather annoyed when people pick on, or apart, my name. It is a name. It is the name that was given to me. I have taken ownership of it, at least insofar as it is an indicator of who I am. While you may find great mirth in that, you do need to pay more attention to my reactions, which were ones of disapproval at your mockery. I do not enjoy the constant repetitions of the same jokes about my name. If you want to have fun with it – and in the right occasion, which is not now, I don’t mind if you do – then please, at the very least, think of something more original.”

Vincent stood for a moment, stunned by the diatribe, before he knocked on Sue’s desk and said, “Well, okay then. Have a good lunch, Sue.”

“Thanks, Vin.”

Vincent cringed as he walked away, and Sue smiled, knowing the hate Vincent had for any shortening of his name.


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