I found out the other day that my last name – Fedofsky – could also be Fed – Of – Sky.
I was at the Non-Waterstraat house for a party and one of their relatives is a cop and a marine. Or was a marine and now is a cop. I don’t know how that works. Or is it once a marine, always a marine. Anyways, when I wrote down the address for this site he said “You’re a Fed Of Sky”. Astonished, I looked at him and thought how could I have not picked up on something so square in front of my face for 30 years and this guy picked up on it in 30 seconds?
For years, I had toted this last name around like a piece of oversized baggage that always needs to be checked in at a special counter with a special tag and for a special fee. I’ve heard and seen so many mutations and mispronunciations of my last name that I’m not even sure how to pronounce it anymore myself. And what aggravates me further is the fact that it’s not even that hard to say but somehow people turn it into something pheonetically far more sophisticated than it really is – Fedovsky, Fedofesky, Fedahsky, Phaedoffski. It’s Fed – off – ski. It’s no Smith, but come on already.
Mispronunciations aside, all along my name had been crying out to me Fed-Of-Sky and it went unheard. Clearly I was born to be a federal air marshall, but somehow along the way I missed all of the signs pointing me in that direction and instead followed the signs straight to education programming which, for the record, does not include fancy travel trips, or federated authority, or carrying a gun. Lucky for me, it seems that right now would be the perfect time to make this kind of a career change considering that everyone seems interested in hopping on a plane and blowing things up with toothpaste and lotion.
I could see it now, I walk into the airline office all abuzz with anxiety and a flurry of fear and I say “Fear not, I have arrived. I am the Fed Of Sky. I am the one you have been waiting for.”
I would totally get hired on the spot.
And then I’d get to travel all over the world. I would probably get first class, with little cups of nuts and champagne. Empowered and elitist, I could use the lavatory in the front of the plane. I could probably even use my cell phone in flight. Of course, I would need to stay as covert as possible so at times I would take the seat far in the back, the one that gets a whiff of 5 hours of cross-country flight nerves en route to Seattle every time the lavatory door opens, so that no one would suspect my federality (not a word, but as a Fed, I would have the power to make it one).
Plus I could carry a gun. Which reminds me that on my bicycle ride today I saw two shotgun shells alongside the road. And I live in the suburbs. If I was the Fed Of Sky, I would have known what to do right away. I’d have connections with local police organizations and I would use my federal force to have them find out who has been littering the streets with shotgun shells.
I would have federal, not state, status. That means, if I ever went to prison let’s say for making a scene and demanding the flight attendant put my brother in the first class section of the plane because he is the only male Fed – Of – Sky still young enough to pass the name on, I would get to go to federal prison which we all know is better than a state prison.
And if I was a federal agent, I wouldn’t have to pay federal taxes. That’s something they don’t tell you but they would tell me because important Feds of the Sky must know things like that.
I could also sue anyone I wanted because my cases would go immediately to the federal court. I could sue you for honking at me while riding my bike and the federal judge would sentence you to about 40 years in prison for provoking a federal officer.
All of my packages would fly overnight Federal Express. Not only would I be Fed Of Sky but Fed of Freight and Ground, too.
In looking at the other names in my family, I see that nothing really lives up to Fed-Of-Sky. By second marriage, my mother acquired Mandell – kind of like being the farmer in the dell, but just a man. My mom's maiden name - Garbarino – to me that sounds like someone who Guards the Bar in Old New York (pronounced ‘yoke’). Or my grandmother's Repetti – as in you are repeatedly petting him over and over again – something that could get you in trouble (whereas being a Fed Of Sky, I would be looking for trouble, not making it).
And it’s a good thing that my great-grandfather didn’t keep the original version – Fedorcyzk. As in “What’s wrong with the dog? Why is it barking?” To which you would say, “I don’t know, I think it needs to be fed or sh*!.” It could be Hungarian or Russian, no one knows for sure but seems to me like Hungarian makes more sense. For example, you are hungry when you need to be fed or sh*!.
Now, Waterstraat – it’s no Fed-Of-Sky. You can’t make a career out of Waterstraat. I suppose you could water the street, or build a water street (if you were in Amsterdam), or water the tulips along the street in your wooden shoes - but certainly nothing that would gain you federal status, or permission to stay the higher class prison, or not pay taxes, or get your mail delivered on a plane.
I always knew that being a Fedofsky was a great thing - a last name with such character, such pizzazz, such potential. So Pete, Claire, Catherine, Suzanne, Stephen, Lorraine, Susan, and Uncle Michael, let us unite in our true identities as Fed – Of – Sky’s. Or at the very least, let’s get together and start the family busines that's been waiting for us.