Monday, March 30, 2009

Mervin Verbit

Mervin Verbit is a distinguished professor of Sociology at CUNY - which was my second choice for grad school (they offered me a prestigious scholarship) after Brandeis - and I've seen his name referenced a bunch of times. But, I must admit a chronic weakness of mine, one that's shared by some of my heroes (notably, Dave Barry) which is that I cannot resist a funny name.

This man is a senior colleague in my field yet his name is a caraway seed in the dentures of my mind because his name is beautifully, tragically funny.

We were brainstorming what his middle name is: Bert? Gertrude? Murgatroyd?

Story illustrating the use of the name from this morning: I gave a gift to my eldest son: a small paper map of the 553 bus route. He loves it. It's got roads, railroad tracks, the letter T, etc. And there's the picture of the guy I call "Mr. Bus Man" - his smiling face is on a number of bus maps and the MBTA does not identify him. Is he a driver? Does he own a bus? Did he invent Boston? No idea. Anyway, my eldest asked me, naturally, who this guy was. My answer, also naturally: Mervin Verbit.

Mervin Murgatroyd Verbit, to be honest.

A la Grover, I am so ashamed.

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