I have often been asked what my full name is, and I always answer that it is Mr QR Grenville-Stubbs. Some more persistent (and, in my opinion, far too familiar) people ask me what the Q and the R stand for.
I don’t know why they feel they should know this information but I was rather alarmed recently when I realised that my passport was expiring and that I needed to get a new one. I got the photographs taken in a booth at the local Post Office (I am so glad they don’t want you to smile in these photographs) and made an appointment to see Revd Phil, our Minister, so that he could counter-sign one of the photographs in support of my application.
“Before we start,” I said, “I want you to promise that any information you find our here will remain confidential and you won’t repeat it to anyone.”
He promised that would be the case unless I revealed any criminal activity (his idea of a joke, I think). So I showed him my documents and he started to check them over. Suddenly, as he read the application form, he seemed to experience some sort of seizure. He started shaking and his face went red, and he seemed to be trying to eat his fist.
I asked him if he was alright and when he looked at me I could see that the poor man had tears running down his cheeks. I assumed that he was choking so I stood up behind him and carried out the Heimlich Manoeuvre on him. That seemed to solve the problem for him but he still found it hard to speak.
He managed to calm down sufficiently to finish counter-signing my documents and then he asked me about my full name, which he had seen on the form.
“They are very unusual names,” he said, “Do you know what led your parents to choose them?”
I admitted that I had no idea at all and reminded him that he had promised not to tell anyone what he had discovered. I also reminded him that names often have a meaning, like in the Bible, and before I was able to tell him what my names meant his seizure started again. I got up ready to perform the Heimlich Manoeuvre again but he raised his had and wheezed that he was okay so I thanked him, gathered up my papers and bid him ‘Good day’. As I left the house I heard a loud noise that sounded like laughter – he must have switched the radio on, I think.
Mr QR Grenville-Stubbs
(Be blessed, be a blessing)