Portage la Prairie, MB –
For 12 years, Art Bergen has faked his way through his relationship with his nephew and no one has been the wiser.
“My brother and his wife thought they were being the hip, cool parents when they named him,” Art Bergen said. “If they would have picked a normal name I could have remembered it.”
Bergen sees his nephew 3 to 4 times a month and makes a point of getting out to his hockey and ball games, but refrains from using the child’s actual name when addressing him.
“I used to call him Jason but they kept correcting me so I know that isn’t right,” Bergen said trying to speculate on the boy’s name.
“If he scores a goal, I just say “atta boy”. I don’t think he’s caught on yet.”
While it would seem difficult to avoid calling someone by their name for over a decade, Bergen maintains it is quite simple.
“We have this thing going. I always call him my favorite nephew and he calls me his favorite uncle. We never need to use real names,” Bergen explained. “I also gave him the nickname Scooter.”
Bergen’s brother and sister-in-law don’t like the fact their son’s name seems to elude Art’s memory but are getting used to it.
“His name is Grayson but Art doesn’t think that is a real name,” Ben Bergen offered. “I think he forgets Grayson’s name as a passive aggressive protest.”
“I doubt Grayson has caught on yet,” Ben Bergen said. “We don’t point it out. We’ll let him figure it out on his own.”
Family get-togethers are peppered with “Hey you,” “Big guy,” “Buddie,” “Fella,” and “What’s his name” but the Bergens seem to get by.
“Art is a bit of an arse sometimes but he’s my only brother. So we’re kind of stuck with him,” Ben Bergen said. “We’ll just wait until he has kids. We have a plan to mispronounce his kid’s name right from the beginning.”
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