A few weeks ago I shared a table in Filter Coffeehouse with a very polite young guy visiting DC from Texas. I mentioned I was a novelist and then, as I usually do, I took a paperback copy of my novel from my messenger bag and held it up. “This is my i.d. Tell me your first name and I will sign it for you.”
“My first name is Discovery, like the Channel.”
“How on earth did you come by that first name?”
“My parents were hippies and when I was born they named me Discovery.”
That certainly is different but very cool. We are all explorers in one way or another. Some of us explore outwardly and some of us, not as many, explore inwardly. (“The longest journey is the journey within,” Freud said.)
“Do people call you that or do you have a nickname?” Fortunately he is quite a nice guy with a nice smile and wasn’t annoyed by my questions about his name.
“Everyone calls me Disco,” he said.
I had to smile at that since he doesn’t look like a guy whose nickname is “Disco.” He is tall, well groomed, and dressed. Educated. Looks like a businessman, which it turns out he is. So I was taken aback. It would be as if he had said his name was “Sluggo” or “Ace” or something. We talked for twenty minutes until a woman friend showed up to claim him. We shook hands.
“Is Discovery really your first name?” I asked.
“Yes, it really is.”
I never told “Disco” I have a blog so he will never read this but suffice it to say “Discovery” ranks as the most unusual first name I have ever heard. And the more I thought about it, the more I thought it was a very cool thing to have a name like that.