Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How Dr. Robot Got His Name

You can pick your child's name but you can't pick their nicknames. Nicknames are assigned by Lady Circumstance. If you were caught picking your nose in 4th grade you might be assigned the name "Booger" or the slightly more subtle "Digger." If your name rhymes with something unfortunate...well, that's just too bad. I came by my childhood nickname by loving a bad guy. I was smitten by the foppish-ly rugged, slightly Semitic looking Captain Hook from Peter Pan. I can not remember if I saw my Cap'n Love in the the Disney animated version or a tape of the Broadway show...it was probably the animated version. It all happened so fast in the summer before my fifth birthday. Apparently I was feverish with only his name on my lips. My brothers and sister all thought this very funny and began calling me "Hook." This became "Hooker" as soon as they found out what that meant. Please be cool and don't call me this the next time you see me - I won't react well and it will likely be the last time we speak. But this is about Dr. Robot.

My spouse, Professor J. Maximus Robot,.PhD., is a scientist. I work in the human service sector. Through my work I became aware of a very troubled boy that required 24 hour supervision. He had severe behavioral issues and his parents literally could not let him out of their sight. They had to hire caretakers to watch him overnight just so they could sleep. He required more vigilance than a toddler with a machete. It is a sad and exhausting situation that will likely not end well. I don't often repeat all the things I see and hear - it doesn't help my mind to repeat these stories and it is often disturbing to other people particularly, J. Maximus. Weeelll, I ended up tellin' him this one. I told him that I was unable to stop thinking about the terrible responsibility, futility, and human tragedy of it all. He seemed to be really listening... considering... maybe even feeling something. When I finished talking he said, "You know, that would be a perfect job for a robot."

In Myers-Briggs terms, he is a classic INTP:  "INTPs live in the world of theoretical possibilities. They see everything in terms of how it could be improved, or what it could be turned into. They live primarily inside their own minds, having the ability to analyze difficult problems, identify patterns, and come up with logical explanations. They seek clarity in everything, and are therefore driven to build knowledge. They are the "absent-minded professors" who highly value intelligence and the ability to apply logic to theories to find solutions."

Yup, that about sums him up. Men often try to solve problems based on their livelihood or hobbies. Perhaps another man would have made a sports analogy, applied their military training, or broke it down to a business model. The world needs men like J. Maximus Robot, PhD. but occasionally I need someone to listen to me unburden myself and just say, "I hear you." Indeed, that would be a good job for a robot.


  1. I love to hear how people got their nicknames. Or just to hear what peoples nicknames are. I love that yours was hooker. But you didn't hear that come out of my mouth. I'm still snickering. Sorry.

  2. ;)no problem, thanks for stopping by.