Let me clear something up, once and for all:
Just because my middle name is ‘Danger’ doesn’t mean that I’m supposed to be the first to leap into action and save the day.
I’m the kind of guy who would instantly turn myself over to bad guys in any kind of dangerous situation. Can I stay in this nice cell that you have provided for me? Thanks. Escape? Wouldn’t dream of it! What if something terrible happened, or I got caught trying to dig my way out? I’d be in huge trouble! I didn’t get to chose my middle name, but it certainly comes with its share of expectational baggage.
Imagine walking out on stage at a crowded venue, holding a microphone and announcing to the audience “my surname is Bublé”, would they expect you to have the voice of an angel? Of course not. So why does my middle name ‘Danger’ create the illusion that I’m somehow a thrill-seeker?
I know what you’re thinking: it’s just a name. You’re right, but have you ever had to see the look of enormous disappointment in the eyes of your closest friends when you fail to live up to the expectation that you’ll absolutely put yourself before others, and put your body on the line in the face of imminent danger? All because of a name. Why couldn’t it have been something mysterious and exotic, like ‘Sheeran’ or ‘Gary’?
Sure, I’ve used the phrase “Danger is my middle name” ironically from time to time, in response to some small action like going out for milk while it’s raining, but for all the times that people have genuinely expected amazing feats of bravado and swashbuckling acts of adventure from me. The pressure is so intense that I’m considering stopping using my middle name every time I introduce myself.
So, as a sort of open letter to those who have expected more from me in the past, I’m sorry about not chasing after “Nibbles” when he floated off toward the sea. I’m sorry I didn’t scale the outside of the train to stop those terrorists from taking the controls. I’m sorry that you had to break into that monitoring facility to steal those codes yourself. I’m sorry. But Dad, all I want to do is sing.