It’s All in a Name

Men are taught very young that what women really want is tall, dark and handsome. Well, as a 5-foot 6-inch redhead shaped like a bowling pin, I find those qualifications hurtful and utterly out of reach. I am neither rich nor famous. And truth be told, I lack even Chuck Norris’ sophistication.

Now, I’m often reminded by neighborhood children that nothing can be done about my physical appearance. So I sought an alternative method to secure my manhood: I requested a devastating tropical storm be named after me.

My name holds power, or it could, with some help. One faithful bully has pointed out that my name translated in Abenaki means “Sparrowfart.” I’m afraid that doesn’t quite cut the mustard, or perhaps it cuts it too much. Either way, it might be time to change my address.

Now, if “Kory” became synonymous with Biblical flooding, golf ball-sized hail, and severe wind damage, I’d be walking a lot taller than 66 inches high. (It’s actually 66.6 inches for you religious fundamentalists out there.) Having a name with clout worked wonders for Pele, Madonna, and Vlad the Impaler. Time to put Hurricane Kory on the map.

In order to realize my dream, I called Dr. Peter Stickis, senior meteorologist at the National Hurricane Center at Florida International University in Miami. Dr. Stickis informed me that Atlantic Ocean and eastern Pacific Ocean storms have different names, alternating from male to female every year. Unfortunately, the Center already has listed names for all storms through 2005. Not only that, but the “K” name this year is female.

“Not a problem,” Dr. Stickis said. “Kory is ambiguous. It could be male or female.”

“Just a second, pal,” I barked. “I’m Kory with a ‘K’. K’s are very masculine. It’s the chemical symbol for potassium, for crying out loud.”

After I paged Dr. Stickis again, we went over the lists together. When I saw the first Atlantic storm this year was named Arlene, the very name of Dr. Sticks’ former wife, I felt I was in for clear sailing. I mentioned that the world had had enough Arlenes. He agreed. We looked over the other unbearable monikers; Gert, Harvey, Philippe… Apparently naming storms, like predicting them, is an imperfect science. A little cockeyed, too.

But when I saw that “K” names included Kiko and Kenna, I blew up. “Ain’t no way Stickis,” I huffed, “that Kory loses out to a Kiko.” The dial tone stung.

I scrambled to think of other ways to change public perception of my name. Almost immediately, the hamster wheel inside my head began to spin.

I stopped at nearby Grunt’s Pub to wallow in failure and ordered a Fury of Kory—no ice. The old and unamused owner offered to punch me. “Please name a drink after me, Grunt!” I pleaded. A younger, less twitchy barkeep named Cyrus was assigned to develop a drinkable Kory, despite the fact that his name began with a soft ‘C’.

“Only if you buy all the alcohol wasted,” Grunt muttered.

Fair enough.

For hours Cyrus and I toyed with whiskeys and vodkas, juices and gins. There were bottles and sparklers and paper umbrellas and little plastic army men everywhere. In the end, Cyrus let out a giant sigh, fearfully placing a shot glass on the countertop. He lit it on fire. It bubbled and boiled. My lips trembled. We kept our gazes on the glass.

I sipped–and smiled. “Whoa, this is good. This is it!” Cyrus’s eyes widened.

“Wait!” he shouted. “Let me top it off with something. A little whipped cream—or a piece of cantaloupe.”

“No way, Cyrus! This is a man’s drink. This is for ugly lumberjacks and one-eyed cutthroats. We can’t girl it up with melon and cream.”

Cyrus nodded dutifully.

Suddenly, there was this long, raspy cough. Grunt had never left. I proudly raised my glass to the disgusted, crusty barkeep.

“The Fury of Kory!” I shouted. “That’ll put hair on your head, old man! Dare to try?”

Grunt threw it down his gullet in no time flat—and looked unimpressed. “We have that drink already, little lady,” he barked. “It’s called a Kiko.”


By: Kory Curcuru

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