Name Games

I met a man named Mingenback at a midday meeting in the month of May.  If you can say that tongue twister three times in ten seconds you’ll be eligible for a drawing.  I haven’t yet decided what I plan to draw, probably a stick figure or a rabbit.

My wife, Jane, and I attended a lunch program at Vinings Bank on May 1st.  We were there to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Community Bankers Association of Georgia.  Dan Oliver, president of Vinings Bank, was hosting the event in their spacious community room.

As we took our place in the food line, we spoke to a young man that we had not met before.  We shook hands and exchanged introductions.  I read his name tag to make sure that I had understood him correctly.

“Matt Mingenback,” I said aloud.  “Are you related to the Mingenbacks in Dooly County?”

“Dooly County?” he asked, inquiring as to its location.

I told him that we were about two hours south of Atlanta on I-75, and that we had a lot of Mingenbacks in our rural part of middle Georgia.  He was immensely pleased to learn of a southern connection.  Matt grew up in Kansas and now lives in Texas.  Stumbling upon the Georgia Mingenbacks was a complete surprise.

Matt is Director of Sales for a company called Fitech Payments.  I suppose it was his sales experience in reading expressions that gave away my ploy.  We all had a good laugh as I confessed that he was the only Mingenback I had ever met.  Matt said that he planned to pull that name prank himself one day.

I told him to be careful, that there was once an occasion when I felt a tinge of regret for playing that game.  I don’t recall the young man’s name.   We’ll just say Robonoski, because I think it was something along those lines.  All I remember is that it was an R word with four or maybe five syllables.

He was only a few years out of college and was working in the correspondent department for a large bank in Alabama.  He was traveling the southeastern circuit calling on small banks in search of potential business opportunities.  He stopped by Bank of Dooly in Vienna, Georgia, where I was the bank president.

I had never played that particular name game before, or even thought about it that I recall.  But when that young fellow came into my office and introduced himself, it just came to me on the spur of the moment to ask if he was related to the Robonoskis in our area.

He was a nice young man, very polite and personable.  He was excited beyond my expectations to find a pocket of Georgia folks that shared his uncommon name.  He said rather wistfully, “I’ve traveled all over several states with my job, but this is the first place I’ve found any family.”

The thing about a prank is that once you pull the plug there’s no putting it back in the drain.  The only thing I could do was tell him the sad truth.  I don’t think he suffered any long term emotional damage, but I sure did hate to disappoint him.

Speaking of disappointment, I realize that not everyone will be able to say that tongue twister in the first sentence in ten seconds or less.   I’ve decided to offer some consolation prizes for those who don’t qualify for the drawing.

If you can say that sentence clearly in 12 seconds, then you are entitled to a free blog subscription at  If you can say it in 15 seconds, you will be awarded 200 points.

It may require more than 15 seconds for some folks to say it three times.  Regretfully, there is no formal recognition planned for that group.  I had to draw the line somewhere. Drawing the line is probably the thing that I draw best, so I think I’ll also let that serve as first prize.  I hope that the winners will enjoy it.  Good lines are hard to come by _______________________.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Name Games

  1. Judy says:

    You’re still as funny as ever! Keep us laughing.


  2. Shawn says:

    It took me 5 times to say the first sentence correct 1 time. If any body beats me….here is another good line…not quite as good as Neil’s…..good lines ARE hard to come by. Especially outside of Dooly County. ~~~~~~~~~


  3. Anne Bert says:

    Just let me know if you find a “BERT” ( like Bert and Ernie!!). Only come across those “Burt” folks. No relation and not nearly a famous as us!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s