My friend Horace

    It’s hard to make friends. I’m shy and I don’t quite know how to break the ice, so I came up with a game: I accost people by trying to guess their Christian names.



Is your name Horace?



Is it Phil?



Is it Peter?



Is it Brian?



What is it then?



Jeff, like Jeffrey?



Do you spell it G-E-O? Or wait, that’s Ge-ahf-frey.

No, uh – J-E-F-F.


Frey, do you feel free?

Uh – not really.


Do you feel liberated?

Not really actually, with Bush and his, uh – wiretappings, sort of like the Patriot Act.


Oooh – oooh – oooh – [I show him my recorder] It’s a recorder – I work for the CIA.

Oh yeah.


So I have to know your name.

What year are you here?


What does that matter?

[Pause] I don’t know.


Why are you asking me these foolish questions?

I’m gonna make a phone call so I’m just gonna –


Can I record it?

Uh, what for?


For – uh – somethin’ –

Uhm – yeah OK, well – [turns around]


Where are you going? [Horace’s friend "No" shows up]

This weird guy is bothering me.



No: Hi.


Is your name Jeffrey?

No: No.


What is it?

No: [shakes head no] – no.


It’s No.

No: No – I don’t feel like.


Well, "I don’t feel like -" either – .bye.

No: Bye.


"The Virgin Mary"

Is your name Paula?



Is your name Jessica?




No, who are you looking for?


I don’t know. Who do you think I’m looking for?

Are you like looking for somebody here or something?



Are you doing an audio-visual project?


No – uhm – where are you going?

I’m looking to see where all my classes are.


Where are your classes?

Uh – Shattuck.


Shattuck? You’re going the wrong way.

Am I? I thought it was right there?


No, it’s right there!

Uh – well I also have Peter Stott, so –


Peter Scott?






Not Paul?



Why not Paul?

Because they didn’t name the building "Paul."


What about "Mary"?

Is there a Mary?


Well, there are lots of Marys There’s Marys everywhere. It’s a very common name.

Especially in this country.


Is your name Mary?




Because my parents had more taste than that.


If it was Mary, would you be a virgin?

Y’know, I wanna think that that’s a trick question.


But it’s not. I’m just asking questions to ask questions.

Ah – so why would my name impact my virginity?


Because of the Virgin Mary?



Are you not a Christian?



[I belch] – How about that?

Are you sure you’re not doing an audio-visual project?


I’m not doing an audio-visual project – you wanna sip of my cola?

No thank you.



Because I don’t like cola.



Because it’s sugar and carbonation and gross.


No it’s not, it’s sugar and carbonation and yummy and sweet.

Mmm – no.


What’s wrong with you?

My name is not Mary, that’s what’s wrong with me.


Well then FUCK YOU!



Is your name Melissa?



Is your name Rachel?



Wow, I guessed it the second time!



What if it wasn’t Rachel?

It’s Rachel.


How did you get that name?

It was my grandmother’s name.


Oh – so it’s not a nickname.



Do you have a nickname?

No, I don’t think so.


Do people call you "Rachey"?



Why not?

Melissa’s friend: Because we call her "Ray."


Ray – like a ray of sun?

MF: Is this going somewhere?


It could be, where do you think it’s going?

[shakes head]


Do you like Ray-Ban sunglasses?



Why do you like them?

Because they’re expensive.


Then why do you like them?

Because they look pretty.


They do? I thought they looked cool.

They’re cool.


Do you confuse pretty with cool?

I don’t think I’m confused now.


Why are you not confused?

Because I’m not confused, OK?


But I’m confused.

Well, that’s your problem.


What am I supposed to do?

Think about it.


But I am thinking about it and nothing’s coming up.

Give it some time.


OK, I’m giving it some time – nothing’s going on, what’s wrong with me Rachel?

I don’t know.


Why don’t you know?

[a long pause follows while I stare intensely in her eyes]



Anyways, we have to go.


Why are you going?


Class? … Bye.