Always known as Booger

Published 9:50 am Monday, October 10, 2022

Dear Aunty Pam,

 

My cousin recently passed away and my mother is helping to put together his funeral because his mother, my aunt, died years ago. 

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My mother has started World War 3 in our family because she is insisting on using my cousin’s christened name, William Robert, be printed in the funeral program that will be passed out at church, and not his nickname, Booger, that everybody has called him ever since he was a little kid. I’ve always known him as Booger, in fact, I didn’t even know his ‘real’ name until he died. 

 

My mother thinks that it’s disrespectful to have ‘Booger’ printed in the funeral program and would be mortified because it’s such a ‘tacky nickname.’ Booger’s siblings are upset and so is Booger’s father. Things are already stressful enough and my mother is just making it worse. Can you help?

 

Signed,

Booger’s cousin

 

Dear Cuz,

 

Just when Aunty Pam is fretting over a potential nuclear conflict with Russia and wringing her hands over the devastation in Florida, comes a letter like yours that makes me spit out my mouthful of morning Lapsang Souchong.

 

There seems to be an obvious solution here that should satisfy everyone. As Booger was, as you say, ‘christened’ William Robert (which, of course, means his name is also Billy Bob), that leads me to believe this happened in a church setting. And therefore, that is technically a ‘naming ceremony.’ So that would lead me to assume if you are named by your church you would therefore die with that same name given at the ceremony. 

 

However, everyone knows Billy Bob as Booger—that’s obvious—and even Booger seemed to enjoy being Booger. So why  not have his name printed as William Robert ‘Booger’ Smith—or whatever his last name is. Just please let it not be ‘Brown,’ as that’s alliteration overload.

 

Also, your mother does need reminding that, yes, while she is ‘helping’ to put together Booger’s funeral, which is lovely, her refusal for wanting to publish Booger’s name is coming from a place of control—she feels ‘mortified’ and she thinks it would look tacky in the church program. This funeral isn’t about her, it’s about celebrating Booger, and comforting all that miss him.

 

Booger, it is!

 

Cheers, dear!

Aunty Pam