I used to date a man named Doug and he would often complain that “Doug” was the name they used for every idiot character in TV and movies.
Case in point: Doug Whitmore for 50 First Dates.
*cough elitist* ex named Doug hated movie character Doug Whitmore because he held all the hallmarks of an unlikable, pathetic, fatally flawed character mocked for his utter lack of masculine prowess: An adult male who lives with his dad, doesn’t hold down a job, stutters, can’t get/keep a woman, is inappropriately vain, has poor fashion sense, and much too obviously “compensates for something” with the masculine traits he does exhibit (his physique).
Sure, there are a few other dopey Dougs: Doug Funnie from Doug, Doug Billings from The Hangover. But there are also some awesome Dougs like Douglas Quaid from Total Recall or… I don’t know, Douglas Adams who wrote Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Ooh, Doug Jones who is THE monster in every awesome scifi show/movie! How about Doug E. Fresh, the human beatbox? Boots and cats, ya’ll!
Still, the argument stayed with me and every time I see a character named Doug, I automatically assume he’ll turn out to be the turd who ruins everything.
That’s why I named my new character Doug. He’s a turd. He deserves a name that makes me think, “Ugh, TURD!” every time I write about him. Also, it’s possible that he’s loosely based on a real person who may or may not–depending on who you ask–be someone sort of liiiiiiiiiike…
my real boss.
“So I have a meeting with a woman named Ann at 1:30 today,” I said to my boss that morning. “You want to fill me in?”
Doug scratched his head in that annoying way that meant he was definitely about to lie to cover his own ass. “Oh yeah, I met her at the… um… so she’s working on a client management system thing for Kathy’s department and I said I could use something like that and I may have mentioned that you were trying to…”
He shrugged and pouted before turning back to the two sentence email it was taking almost twenty minutes to write. This is my boss. This is the person responsible for so much more than he can reasonably handle and his paycheck reflects it. I, on the other hand, am the person who does the work and makes the decisions that he “just can’t deal with today” and my paycheck looks like I work the counter at Dinky Donuts part-time. Mother’s hours, of course.