I CONFESS, I'm terrible with names.
And isn't it embarrassing when you meet someone you know but, for the life of you, can't remember their name, and end up having a conversation referring to them as mate and old pal?
In return, I have been called many things – and some of them are fit to print. For ages people used to confuse me with Examiner art writer David Hammond. The ultimate identity exchange was when a lady, after a long chat in the street, said, “You are Denis Hammond, aren’t you?”
It never bothered me but I’m not sure what David thought of it.
Mind you, this reminds me of my old friend Mike who, when out in Manchester night clubs in the 1970s, would purposely be someone else. He would attempt to chat up young ladies by telling them he was footballer Frank Worthington. As far as I know, Frank never complained.
What is worse than forgetting a name, is calling them something else entirely. This was perfected by Trigger in Only Fools and Horses, who always referred to Rodney as Dave. Perhaps, to save further embarrassment, I should emulate Trigger.
This week, for instance, I shall call everyone I meet, Boris.
“But I’m Daphne. What are you trying to say, like?”
Er, sorry. All right then, I shall call all men Boris and all women Doreen.
This might confuse some people, but I can explain that, as a social experiment, I am calling everybody Doreen and Boris. This, I think, is A Very Good Idea to easily rank alongside David Cameron's Big Society.
Of course, that should be, Boris Cameron's Big Society, and no, I haven't a clue what his Big Society means, either.
My Very Good Idea has one minor drawback, however, that I have just identified.
I'm not sure how my wife Maria is going to react when I call her Doreen in bed in the middle of the night.