There have been many occasions where we drew puzzled looks from people when we tell them our dog's name is Bryson.
"Bison?", "Byron?", "Huh?!" are all common reactions when people try to rectify the syllables that came out of our mouths with what could possibly be a dog's name.
"B-R-Y-S-O-N, Bryson", we'd reply. "Oh, he has a real person's name!", or "That's preppy" are some usual responses we get back upon clarification.
I'm actually surprised that his name drew as much attention- but as little recognition- as it did. Only once- ONCE- in the past 10 months has one person correctly identified the origin of Bryson's name...
So, how did Bryson become Bryson?
If you read the very beginning of our blog when we first got Bryson, you may have some idea. We actually stole the naming idea from the "World's Worst Dog", Marley, as in the dog-lover must-read best-seller Marley and Me. The author, John Grogan, and his wife, like most people, couldn't come up with a name that they could agree on. To solve that problem, they decided to choose from a list of musicians they both like- and hence the name Marley (as in Bob Marley).
We were inspired by this approach as we went through our laundry list of names that just didn't sound quite right (Max? errr.... Sunak?! You crazy? ) As both Jacques and I love to read, we finally decided on going through a list of authors. And from there, we knew what we're gonna name him in like 3 seconds- Bryson, as in Bill Bryson.
For those of you who've read any of Bill Bryson's gut-bustingly funny travelogues and memoirs, you'd understand why we adore this name. For those of you who haven't, first of all, be warned that you may not want to read his books in public- you may be embarrassed when people stare at your tear-streaked face as your body convulses involuntarily in an attempt to suppress a giggle attack that's about to burst like a bubble.
I know, I know, good- and even great- writers are as plentiful as stars in the sky, what makes Bill Bryson special? I'm convinced that he has a unique gift, he can find humor in any situation and anything that's totally trivial and not even remotely funny (try making dryer lint funny). And he has a way to make you feel like you've actually experienced what he wrote about, so even if you've never been to Iceland or eaten rotten shark (an Icelandic delicacy), you can almost taste the foulness in your mouth when you put down the book. And he does it with such ease it inspires you to write, even when you don't have anything particularly epic to write about. (Yes, that does keep me going on this blog)
If you need any more convincing, watch this brief video excerpt on one of his latest books, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid- a Memoir: (this actually isn't the funniest excerpt of his, I'm just too lazy to walk over to the bookshelf and dig up quotes from his books, I just happened across this one conveniently on YouTube, and who doesn't like a quirky video?)
But you know what's even funnier than Bill Bryson's writing? When we named Bryson, we haven't read his title, Neither Here not There- Travels in Europe. It's a crucial mistake since that's where he describes how much he HATES dogs; yes, he HATES them with a passion. All dogs, according to Bill Bryson, should be herded to an isolated island where they couldn't harrass any human, unless if they're poodles, in which case they should be shot. Oops.
I think if anyone can appreciate the humor in the irony of this naming accident, it would be Bill Bryson. In fact, if we didn't name Bryson after him, he would still be a nobody- he's only famous because we keep explaining to people day after day what a great author we named Bryson after. Come to think of it, he should probably pay us for all these free advertisement.
That's right, Bill Bryson, your bill's coming.