Do I look overweight to you?

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 3, 2006

According to something I recently read, because my first name is Doug, more than a third of you think I am overweight — and that comes from those who have never even seen me.

About a year ago my parents started sending us a subscription to The Week magazine, which not only deals with the hot-button issues of the day, but also offers a smattering of the wierd and unusual.

The thing I read in one issue dealt with names, and how people with particular ones are perceived by others.

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According to the Web site, Doug and Douglas, taken from the Old English, mean Dark Water.

Between 1900 and 2003, based on the most popular names given to males, it peaked in 1970 and has fallen steadily since. No wonder, when you consider that 38 percent of the people think all Doug’s are overweight.

I’m one of those people who has two first names. Grant, also Old English, and meaning Great — I don’t make this stuff up folks — is also a first name. I had a friend in high school named Grant.

Its use as a first name peaked in the mid-90s, and is ever so slowly falling, but not much.

Maybe I should call myself Grant Douglas and then I’d have a more popular name. And, people would see me as chubby.

I, by the way, prefer the term “fluffy,” thank you very much.

The Web site is kind of interesting, offering all sorts of things related to baby names.

It even offers suggestions on what names to avoid, such as the Case family calling their son Justin. Go ahead, said it with me.

And while Benjamin Dover doesn’t seem to raise too many eyebrows, try the shortened version. “Ben” probably won’t like it.

Just so you know, this is one of those Web sites where you have to register to gain access to most of their information. So, if you don’t like running the risk of receiving even more junk mail via the Internet, I’d suggest steering clear.

I thought call was cruel joke

As many of you know, Martha and I had one of our beloved dogs euthanized earlier this week.

Once that was done we had to decide what we wanted to do with Smokey. Our choices were to take him home and bury him, which I couldn’t bring myself to do; have him cremated and not receive the ashes or cremated and have the ashes given to us.

We chose the third option.

On Thursday I noticed a message on our home answering machine. When I played it back it was a woman from the veterinarian’s office saying “We have Smokey here and you can pick him up anytime.”

I was instantly shocked, thinking what a cruel joke that was.

And then, just a second later, I realized what she was saying — that his ashes had been returned to them and they were available

at our convenience.

Learn from Kerry

Sen. John Kerry’s remarks should have offended every military member, past and present, regardless of their political affiliation.

His so-called joke about not having an education and ending up in Iraq was nearly unforgivable.

But if there is one silver lining to this, it is that politicians should begin dealing with the issues and stop trying to put down their opponents.

Maybe so as not to embarass themselves in the future, they’ll just deal with the issues and stop the mud slinging and name calling.

I believe the voters would be happier.

I know I would.

Grant is the managing editor of the News-Herald. Contact him at, or call 934-9603.