From the Goldblog in-box, which overfloweth with mail about Sister Mary Schmuck:
I'm Peter Schmuck, the lead sports columnist for the Baltimore Sun. Enjoyed your article on the good sister (I have an aunt who is also a Schmuck and a nun, but not the same one), and thought you'd enjoy this anecdote.
A few years ago, I tried to interview baseball relief pitcher J.J. Putz. Thought it was a natural column, but he wouldn't cooperate. Claimed his name was pronounced "Pootz." I wrote the column anyway, wondering at the end whether I was peeved "at the fact that he wouldn't own up to the proper pronunciation of his name or that I never thought to tell everyone that my last name is SMOOK."
There also was a famous New York Supreme Court justice named Peter Schmuck in the 1930s and 40s, who -- legend has it -- used to declined name change petitions from the bench by telling applicants that (I'm paraphrasing) "if I can live with my name, you can live with yours."
Don't know about anybody else, but the name has always been an asset for me.
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