This Charming Man (No, this isn’t about the Smiths’ song)

“Why do I need a g#**@*%$ chest wax?! Bring me some Scotch!” Harrison Ford as Transman’s dad*. Image:

Recently, Transman’s dad was in the hospital so Transman and his offspring went to see the old fella. But, that’s not really the topic of this blog. Perhaps this opening is a red herring. Just like the honey badger, Transman don’t care. Haters gonna hate ‘cuz he opened with a feint. (Transman shouldn’t have listened to N.W.A. on the ride, but he does have to give props to Ice Cube and MC Ren for working “subject and a predicate” into their rhymes.)

While down south, Transman stayed at his sister’s house and got to meet her new beau. That’s most of the topic at hand.

“Will you ever get to the point, son?” Harrison Ford as Transman’s dad. Image:

Transman’s sisters and brothers need to be renamed for this blog; it’s getting clunky to write “Transman’s sister’s friend’s cousin’s second wife’s uncle twice-removed” and stuff like that. We shall have a naming contest at the end of this post, so start thinking of three boy names and three girls names to pitch into ring, kids.

Anyway, back to the story …

“We’re going to a ’70s party! We’re gonna put on our dancin’ shoes and go to funky town!” Christie Brinkley as Transman’s sister. Image:

Transman’s sister, the one who resembles Christie Brinkley, opened her doors to the Transfamily. The offspring were happy to be in a place with internet and air conditioning. Transman was happy to see his sister in person for the first time in about a year. Everyone was happy about the freezer full of ice cream.

Transman’s sister greeted them with hugs. Transman took a look around his sister’s house and said, “Boys, this is what a grown-up’s house looks like,” because she had art on her walls–as in paintings on canvas, not as in a kindergartner’s best rendering of Spiderman painted directly on the wall with hot sauce.

They settled in and then Transman and the youngest went to the hospital to see the family patriarch. The old rascal was hooked up to a million gadgets including “the machine that goes ‘Bing!'” from the Monty Python skit. He wasn’t looking so rascally, really. Even his tattoos looked a little faded. Transman and his father grunted at each other for a while until the old man shooed Transman and son away so he could get some rest.

The next day, Transman’s sister announced that she and her boyfriend were going to a Memorial Day weekend party at friend’s house.

“You’ll get to meet Debonair Man! He’s the one who bought all this art,” she said. “He goes to garage sales and second-hand stores and buys art and resells it on e-Bay.”

“Cheers, Transman!” David Niven as Debonair Man (David Niven might’ve been British, but he oozed with charm just like Debonair Man.) Image:

Debonair Man has a good eye. He finds pieces that are not someone’s terrible  imitation of Van Gogh or a Cubist rendering of the Dogs Playing Poker painting. Debonair Man tracks down art by recognized artists whose work has gone unrecognized by some hapless person who figures $3 is a fair price for that “dusty old painting Aunt Myrtle brought back from Paris.” Now before you start thinking Debonair Man takes advantage of people, let the record show that he buys many paintings just because he likes the composition or color or something … then he researches the artist. He can’t help it if he’s lucky.

When Debonair Man made his appearance, Transman’s sister was still getting gussied up, so Transman did the brotherly thing and opened the door to give the guy a once-over.

Debonair Man stuck his hand out and said, “Transman!” (Well, he didn’t say, “Transman;” he really said Transman’s chosen name.)

Transman was touched that Debonair Man used his chosen name**, but he didn’t let it show. Instead, he did some brotherly grilling of this man who was courting his sister.

“So, you collect art,” Transman said, crossing his arms and raising a brow.

“Oh, Debonair Man, you are a card–a regular laugh riot!” Robert Downey Jr. as Transman. image: Tumblr.

“Oh yes. My house is covered with art. When I introduced my daughter to [Sister’s name], she was impressed that I had let her see my house; I’m a little embarrassed by how much artwork there is. You can’t see the walls because of all of it. My daughter said, ‘Well, you must be really special for him to show you his house.’ And she is!” Debonair Man smiled.

Transman tried to scowl and look a little intimidating, but Debonair Man had a good six inches on him. Figuring that Debonair man had better reach, Transman changed the subject.

“I hear you sing,” he said, prepping to trap Debonair Man in a web of forgettable Top 40 trash. Transman judges everyone harshly by the music they listen to.

“Yes, I do! That’s how [Sister’s name] and I met. I was doing karaoke one night and she was there and I asked her to dance and …” he trailed off, a smile playing on his lips as he stared off into middle distance.

“What kind of music do you like?” Transman asked.

Debonair Man made a reference to Michael Bublé and then changed the subject. It was like a chess game. Surely, Debonair Man was just toying with him. No one with that eye could have bad or predictable taste in music.

“You suck, Transman! Debonair Man rules!”

In  a piece of strategy worthy of Saladin, Debonair Man picked up the cat who had come in when she heard his dulcet tones.

“There’s my baby girl,” Debonair Man said as he scratched under the cat’s chin. “I loves her, yes I do.”

The cat purred so loudly Transman thought she might have a respiratory infection.

Debonair Man gently placed the cat on the floor and stroked her back.

“I was raised by cats,” he said as he straightened up. “We had all kinds of cats when I was growing up, but she’s the sweetest cat I’ve ever seen.”

Debonair Man opened the refrigerator and got out the cream cheese. He placed a little bit on the floor for the cat to lick.

“Please don’t engage me in conversation.” Slash as Transman’s oldest. Image:

“Hey Debonair Man! Check this out!” Jimmy Bennett as Transman’s youngest. Image:

Transman’s kids came out to gawk at Debonair Man, who oozed with charm, taking an interest in Batman and computers to win them over in conversation. Debonair Man insisted on seeing the computer Transman’s son had built from scratch and lugged along on the trip.

“Well, isn’t that just something!” Debonair Man said as he looked at the steel and glass case housing the components—he was working on the endgame, basically mouthing “check” at me as he won over my children.

Debonair Man finished inspecting the computer and came back to stand by Transman.

“I’m sorry to hear about your father. I just hate that for you,” Debonair Man said, becoming more Southern by the minute. Transman wanted to fix the man a mint julep and invite him to “set awhile” on the porch in their white linen suits.

Transman’s sister and Debonair Man went on their date (and missed their curfew by an hour). They came back still aglow from cutting the rug at the ’70s Memorial Day Get-down.

Debonair Man regaled them with tales of his his boyhood in Kentucky and his travels as a musician. He recouped lost “cool” points for the earlier Bublé reference by explaining that he sings in a group and the leader makes them sing songs that 90 percent of the audience will know 90 percent of or some other word-problem version of a set list.

Debonair Man turned the conversation from his early retirement to film and TV. Then, to writing. When he said, “Transman, you’re writing something that must be read”–he might as well have yelled, “checkmate.” Debonair Man had beaten Transman. Debonair Man had won over the whole family.

The Contest–

“Does this mean Transman is cousin Oliver?” The cast of the Brady Bunch as Transman’s siblings. Image:

Suggest six names (3 male; 3 female) for Transman’s siblings***.

Transman’s staff will pick the top names in each category sometime this weekend.

What do you get if your names are selected? Publicity, baby! A link to your blog and a celebrity guest photo, so maybe you too can get published by way of Transman’s Publishing Plan B.

* Just in case Johnny Depp and Sean Connery take the blog in stride, Transman is widening his pool of celebrity stand-ins.

** Using a transperson’s chosen name is one of the crucial ways you can support them. Using the name lets the person know you see them as they see themselves. Saying the person’s chosen name and using the proper pronouns may seem small, nearly insignificant, but it carries the weight of validating their identity. Allow Transman to lapse into first-person for a moment … I can’t tell you how cringe-inducing it is to hear my birth name or see it on documents. Seeing or hearing the wrong name attached to me in any way is an erasure of my being.

*** Yes, Transman does see the irony in renaming his siblings right after ranting about how people using the “girl name” to refer to him erases his soul and all, but Transman just wants to protect their anonymity. Calling them Transsibling 1-6 or something would be too much math for everyone.

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43 responses to “This Charming Man (No, this isn’t about the Smiths’ song)

  • Ann M. Skowronski

    Blondie. Call your sister Blondie.

  • Eli

    Nice post, buddy. But now, down to business:

    Boy’s names:

    Girl’s names:


  • transparentguy

    Ooooh, the competition’s heatin’ up.

  • Joe Pineda

    Do you want funny memorable names or just names?


    Oksana (like Borat’s wife)

    In any event, this was very well written! Makes you wish you could leave that kind of impression everywhere you go, no matter what you do.

  • americantransman

    Staying with the music theme here. I suspect that since you got soul, your siblings got soul…

    Soul Sisters:
    Gladys (or Etta if you want to keep the theme of the “a” at the end of the name)

    Soul Brothers:
    (Sorry Ray, Sam, James, Jackie, Al and Stevie… not enough brothers to take all y’all’s names.)

  • americantransman

    Of course, you could just name them after the Brady Bunch…

  • junoroche

    I cannot honestly think of names that would fit being British they would appear slightly out of sink.

    Petunia (slight botanical theme)

    Brilliantly written post, funny, quick, sharp and incredibly good word choice, it really seems cinematic.
    Thanks for making me laugh before work.

  • SummerSolsticeGirl



  • free penny press

    Oh boy, I had to consult with a team of people just to name my own kids so let me see what I can come up with on my own:


    Twyla Fay

    Post Script: much enjoyed the post!

  • americantransman

    I failed to mention, Transman, that I thoroughly enjoyed this well-written post. Keep on writin’….

  • Louise

    Dear (insert Chosen Name),
    great post!! Damn it though, I was half way through reading when I thought of the Brady Bunch only to scroll down and see you had it covered. You must still be on your toes after the encounter with Debonair Man (well played Debonair Man, well played. The cat move really clinched it for me by the way… you can’t fool ‘em). Oh and you can’t change Debonair Man’s name now, he has won that title fair and square.

    I was trying to find a witty musical trio that might provide some interesting names for your siblings, but I didn’t. So, as a last ditch effort I’m going to suggest you go with sisters Brandy, Shandy and Mandy; and Brothers Randy, Dandy and Handy. ;-)

  • Louise

    Oh, and if I win and get a celebrity photo – I call P!nk in black leather.

  • keepcalmlaxmom

    Awesome blog, I feel like I was right there in the house hanging with you and Debonair Man, you make everything so real. Being someone that is VERY hung up on eponymy, I am aching to re-name your siblings and I sooooo want a celebrity photo!!

    I think the Brady Bunch theme is great for the sibling names. But maybe we could mix it up and suggest some names from other 70’s syndication shows. (I deserve a tiny celebrity photo for that use of alliteration).

    The Partridge Family- Everyone wanted Shirley Jones to be their mom. Keith, Laurie, Danny, Chris and Tracy. That leaves us short one girl name, and even I would not name a girl Reuben Kincaid. Christie will do just fine for Debonair Man’s main squeeze.

    My Three Sons- Mike, Chip and Robbie Douglas. We even have a substitute name of Ernie in case Mike goes off to college and never appears in another episode.

    Family Affair- The title is so right and the names so wrong. Buffy, Jody and Cissy. Okay, I now that they were nicknames, short for Elizabeth, Jonathan and Catherine, but I do believe I would name my child Mrs. Beasley before I would name her Buffy.

    Gilligan’s Island- nope, not going there.

    Leave It to Beaver- now that’s a fun name. I think we should strongly consider naming the boys Eddie Haskell, Wally Cleaver and the Beaver.

    OK my final names are chosen-

    Christie (Brinkley)
    Laurie (Partridge)
    Marsha (Brady)

    Keith (Partridge)
    Chip (Douglas)
    Wally (Cleaver)

    Can’t wait for the next family reunion.

    • transparentguy

      You have the unfair advantage of knowing what my siblings look like. I’m thinking I can do a post of my friends with their celebrity stand-ins. Who shall play you? Catherine Zeta Jones? Halle Berry?

      • keepcalmlaxmom

        That I do Transman, that I do. As my hair is quite long and flowy these days, Catherine Zeta Jones would be fun. I really dig the photo of Robert Downy Jr., very close to the mark!

  • meizac

    Nice explanation on the Harrison Ford as your dad, because I immediately thought, “Hey, wait, I thought Sean Connery was his dad!?”



    Or, you could take a cue from Paltrow and go with:


    Either way, I enjoyed this post, as much as I’ve enjoyed the rest, and I concur with whomever said it above…Debonair Man stays Debonair Man. :D

  • transparentguy

    All these suggestions are great; now I wish I had many more siblings.

  • Emmica

    Love “Transman judges everyone harshly by the music they listen to.” : )

    For no particular reason other than sounding aesthetic…



    Great post!

  • life with more cowbell

    Love David Niven as Debonair Man! Okay, I’ll give the naming thing a shot:



  • minnesotatransplant

    Just loved this post. Debonair Man came alive for me (picture helped). Love your way with words (am subscribing to the theory that flattery will get you everywhere). In any case, here’s a name idea I used in my memoir. I wanted to change the names of the innocent (otherwise known as my first husband’s extramarital flings), but I wanted them to be similar (helped me keep them straight — there were a lot of them). So I went to the Social Security website where baby names are listed in order of popularity ( and looked up their real names in their birth year — I picked a fake name from the choices nearby in the list.

  • Stacie Chadwick

    Robert Downey Jr.
    Robert Downey Jr.
    Robert Downey Jr.
    Gemini Girl
    Gemini Girl
    Gemini Girl

    • transparentguy

      That would make saying good night much easier than it ever was on The Waltons. Plus, my parents wouldn’t have to do that thing where they run through the whole list of names before they got to the right one for each kid they were trying to yell at.

  • Hannah

    I’d go with Moibus, Cloubus, Moo, Bloinklin, Fronk, Blaile and Stronk. They are alien names, and gender non-specific, so you can assign to any which sibling you please. Also, everything you write makes me very happy. Write on.

  • Hannah

    Whoops.. gave ya seven names. Got a bit too excited, I guess.

  • Mike Beaumont

    OK, so Transman has a family of six like the Brady’s, but not. I think this family has to have a stronger facade. Aside from the fact that you think Debonair Man got the better of him, I think he admired you. But anyways, here is what I think the names should look like for this particular situation;
    For the men:
    For the women:
    I am going with this scenario to coincide with Transman… it all fits.

  • The (Re)Naming Game winners are … « theadventuresoftransman

    […] In the last post, Transman requested help renaming his siblings for the sake of preserving their anonymity while he makes up stories relates anecdotes about them in this blog. Read this for the backstory. […]

  • cristycarringtonlewis

    Damn, my reader. I missed another post. I guess it’s too late to submit “Kevin Costner” for consideration. Though I don’t know if any of your siblings are talented enough to go by that moniker. Cause Kevin Costner makes Philip Seymour Hoffman look like a lightweight. Especially when he starred in Water World. What is it they say, never work with kids, animals and a vast body of water? Yeah, so Kevin Costner. Just in case you decide to change your mind.

    • transparentguy

      I know. The reader has become more of a pain than it’s worth. I miss everyone’s posts and wind up tracking them down through my blogroll or comments.

      • cristycarringtonlewis

        I’m still getting emails notifying me about most of them, but I get so many now that it’s hard to keep track of which ones I’ve read and which ones I haven’t. I notified wordpress…again, and they are looking for a permanent fix. Apparently, this is a widespread problem. I’ve reported missing blog posts (and quite a few of them) three separate times now.

  • cristycarringtonlewis

    BTW, loved this post. Well-written and hilarious. Especially the Spiderman drawing.

  • Fathead Follies

    You had me at “a kindergartner’s best rendering of Spiderman painted directly on the wall with hot sauce” which, by the way, is an accurate description of my art collection.

  • Congratulations! It’s a (middle-aged) boy! « theadventuresoftransman

    […] sisters Sherpa and Daisy (and even Twyla Fay) urged him not to tell the patriarch of the family about his plans to […]

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