Call Me Buminicious (it might not be as powerful a begining as "Call me Ishmael", but it's a way better story than Moby Dick)


My little sister recently told me a story that’s too good not to be shared. Though difficult to believe, she swears it is true. You’ll have to judge for yourself.

My sister has friend who was doing her student teaching somewhere in the Deep South. On the first day of her kindergarten class, she was calling role and asked the students to let her know if they wanted to be called something other than what the role showed.

When she called one little boy’s name, he responded in a thick southern accent saying, “Call me by my initials.” Now in order for this story to work at all in written form, you have to imagine what that would sound like in thick southern drawl. It must have been something closer to “Cawl me buh muh ‘nicials.”

The teacher, unable to understand his words, asked the boy to repeat himself. “Cawl me buh muh ‘nicials” the boy said again.

“Buminicious?” the teacher asked, confused?

“Buh muh ‘nicials,” the boy corrected.

“Well okay then Buminicious.” And with that, incredible as it sounds, the teacher made a note on her roll that the boy’s name was Buminicious… and she called him that for the rest of the term.

The five-year-old boy was obviously too bashful to correct his teacher, but can you imagine the ridicule he must have faced on the playground? My brother was quick to point out that Bumincious is only one letter away from Bumilicious. The poor kid was almost Destiny Child’s next hit song.

Now the best part of the story…

How did the teacher finally come to realize her mistake? Well, at the end of the term she had parent-teacher conferences with the parents of all the children. When this boy’s parents came in, the teacher kept saying things about Buminicious.

Imagine if you will: “Well, Buminicious is doing well in his coloring, but when it comes time to share, little Buminicious has a hard time.”

After a couple repetitions, the boy’s mother screwed up her face and asked, “What are you calling my son?”

“Buminicious.” Replied the teacher.

The mother became a bit angry. “And WHY are you calling my son Bumincious?” she asked, raising her voice in strong Southern fashion.

Now the teacher was nervous. “Well he told me to. The very first day of class when I was calling role he said, ‘call me Buminicious.’”

The mother thought about it for a few beats and quickly came to the truth. “He said, ‘Call me by my initials.’ We call him T.J.!” Ah man, how embarrassing!

That’s where the story ends, but it doesn’t have to be where the fun ends. After all, we now have a great new word we can use, and I propose that we make the most of it. Think of it—the possibilities are endless! Examples:

  • Something cool happens; you say, “Whoa! That was buminicious!”

  • Your significant other is looking hot; you say, “Wow, you’re looking buminicious today!”

  • And so forth

Get creative. Post other uses here so the rest of us can benefit from your creativity. Most importantly, enjoy!

Linda Winegar

My greatest blessings call me Mom.