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So the son and I have established this ritual, where you never use your own name when ordering a drink, or ice cream cone, or anything. You can be Biff, Bob, Chili, Star Child, Moth, The Human Head, Dog … whatever moniker you choose.

But I can’t be Jeff. He can’t be Emmett.

A few moments ago I ordered a coffee and an ice water here at a Newport Beach Starbucks. The barista’s name tag read MELVIN.

He said, “What’s a name for the drink?”

“Mel,” I said.

He smiled. “That’s my name too!”

“Wow,” I replied. “Small world.”