Arlyn S. Powell, Jr
As many of you have noticed, our "cable guy" has remained on our cover and in general has been seen hanging around Cabling Installation & Maintenance well after our fifth-anniversary year has ended. We promised him (or her) a name some time ago, and announced a contest to come up with the right moniker. The results are in now, and it`s time for the christening. However, before the winner is revealed, let`s look at a few of the more interesting runners-up.
Some of the entries were clever, others were humorous, and a few were just--how can I put it? Strange? For instance, our managing editor, Ron Karjian, received an e-mail from `Cire` as follows: "Ron...I have the perfect name for the Cable Guy (or is it Girl?) Pat, just like the character on Saturday Night Live. No one has ever known if it is a guy or a girl."
Rodney Jackson of Liebert Corp. (Columbus, OH) came up with the same name, but for a slightly different reason. "In our politically correct world," he says, "we do not want to offend anyone of the opposite sex, so my recommendation for the cable guy would be Pat Puller, Pat being taken from the gender-unspecific character on Saturday Night Live. Personally, I like the name Cat Puller, but the animal-rights people may have a problem with that one!" Well, Cire and Rodney, Pat`s not bad, but it doesn`t tell us much about cable or cabling.
Being instructive wasn`t necessarily a prerequisite of the winning name, but Kent Boyington of mci WorldCom (Salt Lake City, UT) thought being instructive would play well. His suggestion: court, an acronym for Cable-Organizer-User-Reference (or Research)-Tech. Nice try, Kent.
Some of the suggestions had a certain movie-star or comic-book hero ring to them. Richard T. Easley, Sr., of e.g.s. Inc. (Defiance, OH) came up with I. M. Cable. That has a nice ring to it, Richard. And so does Pullman, the submission of Sam Potteiger of Sight-Sound Inc. (Middletown, PA), even though Sam doesn`t avoid the sexist trap our earlier contestants avoided. How about Pullperson, Sam?
Clark Cable, the suggestion of Sheila Waggoner of Unity Electric Construction Inc. (Shasta Lake, CA), has a certain cinematic flair to it. What about Betty Cable instead, Sheila, or am I dating myself? Of a more literary bent is Allover Twist, submitted by Mark W. Golad of Network Design & Analysis. "After all, that`s what the debate has been centered around for all these years!" he adds.
A few of the entries were better-connected than the others. Paul Werner of Rensselaer, NY, came up with RJ, and Larry Stec of Wyandotte, MI, thought the obvious solution was Cable Jack. Dan Walsh came up with Conney the Cable Connector.
Quite a few of the suggestions, although strong and colorful, might lead customers to get the wrong idea about cabling contractors. Harvey Wishtart of nynex reminisces, "Years ago, we used to call cabling guys `jerkers` or `yankers` because they were always seen doing just that. A combination of these two appellations yields Jank, which would also be a politically correct name, as we have all seen a welcome change in the workforce."
Steven Woodcock thought that no combination of the two appellations was necessary; Yank, the Cable Guy, would do just fine. And Bill Ward thought the name should be Stretch. Brendan Ring stretched Stretch out to become Stretch McCable, about whom Brendan tells a little story: "Stretch is in constant pursuit of maxing out network capabilities with the latest technology. He sees fiber in Europe as a boon for the industry in upcoming months, as fiber conversion speeds up overseas. Stretch is also paving the way for premises networks and keeping the dream alive by working toward the single cable premises network. Stretch is 150 pounds of twisted fiber and has the strength of twisted steel. `Nuff said." `Nuff, indeed. Brendan, you list your profession as assistant account executive. I assume you`re in advertising?
A few of the entrants scored points with the judging panel by throwing in a reference to the publisher or the magazine. The prolific Larry Stec, who came up with Cable Jack as mentioned above, also suggested Cab Pennwell--"Cab being short for cable, PennWell being the publisher." Larry thought Mannie Cabwell would put a positive spin on the cable-pulling craft, too. "Mannie is for managing cable systems," he says, "Cab is for cable, and Well is for PennWell or well-managed cable systems."
Larry Silver of Equifax Card Services (Middleton, WI) opts for mick, standing for Maintenance and Installation of Cabling Know-it-all. "Mick knows everything about cabling," Larry informs us. "He keeps up on the tia/eia standards and is constantly striving to find new and better ways to improve voice and data communications. Mick also wants every reader of Cabling Installation & Maintenance magazine to learn his tricks of the trade so they too can become `cabling know-it-alls.` "
Able Gabe, the creation of Curtis Czajka of Plantrol Systems (Westfield, NY), also makes you want to stand up and take your hat off. "Able Gabe," says Czajka, "because he or she is able to install and maintain any kind of cable quickly, accurately, and readily. Able has the know-how and experience from reading Cabling Installation & Maintenance magazine." Thanks for the plug, Curtis.
Should the cable guy be standards-compliant? Matt Reichle of Advanced Facilities Inc. (Cincinnati, OH) thinks so. His suggested name is Stan, because "how else would he work but by the standards?"
But enough dramatic build-up. The winner is--drumroll--Rodney Radius, sent in by Mack Burnham, the president of Resdata (Berkeley, CA). Mack, the $250 prize goes to you, not so much for your name as for the clever biography you submitted along with it:
Rodney Radius, 1966 -
Mr. Rodney Radius was born in a glass house in Corning, NY, in 1966, the son of Sie and Dow Radius. After graduating with Category 5 honors from Pathway High School, "Roddy" began a career that has led to his recognition as one of the premier cable pullers in the Northeast. When asked recently if it bothered him that he hadn`t seen sunlight for more than a decade, the Pathway Prince responded: "Well, if I`ve said it four times, I`ve said it 10 times: It ain`t the turns that get ya, it`s the tension."
Congratulations, Mack, and thank you, all you other contestants, for your good humor as well as your sports-personship!