Murphy had been Murphy’s mother’s maiden name. He was not particularly enamoured of it. Most people, before they laid eyes on him, wondered if Murphy was going to be a boy or a girl. Once they laid eyes on him of course there was no mistaking his gender. Murphy was a boy!
His father had hailed from Madagascar.
One of the things that Murphy liked about his name was the nickname he had been given at school: Spud. Murphy was the colloquial name for a potato. It sort of rhymed with Stud and Bud and Crud and Mud. In fact from about the age of fifteen he started to introduce himself as Spud. “Hi,” he would say extending a hand of introduction, “I’m Spud Rajaonarimampianina.”
Even his mother sometimes called him Spud.
When Spud got married his wife’s name was Marsha. It didn’t take long for some to start calling her Mash. Mashed Spud were quite the couple around town. Everyone knew who Mashed Spud were. In fact, Mash was the chairperson of the local School Board and Spud was elected to the City Council. It helped that no one knew how to pronounce Rajaonarimampianina.