22 January 2012
My name is Alan Knott-Craig. So is my dad’s. This has been a source of confusion for many people… we both work in the telecoms sector, he’s famous, and, of course, a surname like Knott-Craig has enormous potential for amusement.
“If you’re not Craig, who are you?” is a joke that seemingly never wears thin…
As I’ve grown older I’ve found I can close my eyes and guess who is speaking to me simply by what they call me.
“Big Al” – School era friends
“Ali” – Brothers
“Alan Thomas” – Parents, uncles, aunts & grandparents
“Bundi” – Deloitte colleagues
“Al” – Current mates
“Junior” – Old people in telecoms
“Sir” – Up-and-coming guys in telecoms
“Pollyanna” – Ivo Vegter
“Alan Knott-Craig Jnr” – Older journalists
“Alan Knott-Craig” – Newly minted journalists
“AKC” – DPJ
“AK47” – Early Vodacom employees
Technically I’m not Jnr. My dad is Jnr because his dad (my oupa) was the first Alan. Which I guess makes me Jnr squared. Or Alan the 3rd. But my oupa passed away recently, so there is no need to differentiate to the third degree anymore, and anyway I can’t think of anything worse than adopting the habits of European monarchies, which include beheadings, genocides and World Wars.
When my dad retired from Vodacom things became a bit easier. There was only one Alan.
Then my dad went back to Cell C. You could almost feel the angst in editorial rooms… The younger writers call my dad, “Senior”, whilst leaving me with the plain appellation of, “Alan Knott-Craig,” whilst older writers refer to me as “Junior” whilst leaving the vanilla “Alan Knott-Craig” to my dad.
Now my dad’s semi-retired again, and I’m all alone, again. After years of running away from Junior, I’m now feeling strangely attached to him.