“My wife is having surgery Thursday,” said DR as I passed him in the hallway at work. “Outpatient. She’s having a growth removed from her nose. It’s not cancer. I’ve been calling her ‘Snout’ ever since she discovered it.”
DR is an odd fellow, prone to odd conversations and indiscretion. He is also terribly nice. When I meet him like this, it often causes me to wince for his sake. He doesn’t notice me wincing. Which is good, because he’s also really entertaining. “I bet she doesn’t appreciate being called that,” I replied.
“There’s a reason for it,” he said. “When I was growing up in Virginia, we had a two-headed goat. We called her Snout because she had two noses.”
I failed to see how this was a good reason to call his wife by that name. DR continued: “It’s rare to have a goat with two well-developed heads. It had two tongues and everything. We had her for a few weeks then sold her to the circus.”
“It was before the Internet when you could see pictures of two-headed goats all the time. [Oh, look! He was right. -gb] They were really happy to have her.”
He never did say whether his wife liked Snout as a nickname.