A comic strip in 9 panels. In the first panel, a female fox sitting at a registration table asking an approaching male fox, “Your name please?”. The male fox, names Franky Banky, is having trouble saying his name. In the second panel, the female chuckles and asks “Did you forget your name?”. Franky Banky replies with a nervous shock, “Jumping Jupiter! I have!”. In the third panel, shocked, the female replies, “Oh my goodness!”. Franky Banky asks “Will you help me re remember?”. The female replies, “It would be an honour”. In the fourth panel, Franky Banky thinks out loud, “Reginald? No.” The female suggests, “Perhaps Jasper?” to which Franky Banky answers, “No, I don’t think so”. In the fifth panel, the female suggests, “Leopold? Zebedee? Chester?”, however, Franky Banky replies no to all of them and adds, “I’m afraid it doesn’t ring a beh bell”. In the sixth panel, suddenly, his face lights up and he exclaims, “Oh wait! I haven’t forgotten my nay nay name”. The female replies, “oh that’s wonderful!”. In the seventh panel, Franky Banky laughs out loud and says “April Fool’s!”. In the eighth panel, he explains, “I haven’t for forgotten my nay name”. In the ninth and final panel, he continues, “I stuh stuh stutter”. The female blushes and says “Oh, sorry” to which Franky Banky replies, Don’t sw sweat it. My name is fff… fff… fur… fur... Franky Banky”.

Author’s commentary

April Fool’s Day. One of my favourite times of the year.

“What’s the matter, did you forget your name?”, is one of my non-favourite comments that I frequently received as a kid whenever I blocked on saying my name.

I’ve always hated being asked this stupid and ignorant question and thus, dreaded being asked to say my name each and every time in fear of going through this humiliating scenario yet another time.

Combine that with April’s Fool’s Day and you have a potentially fun way to educate.

Ok, maybe it is not prudent to actually do this gag in real life as people in general are good and just don’t know what stuttering is when they see or hear it. While the idea makes for a funny gag in a comic strip, I can imagine it can lead to a well-meaning fluenter feeling shamed (note that I wrote “well-meaning” and not “jerk”). And that’s not the message I want to convey. Shaming people into accommodating only builds resentment and fear. Do we really want people to avoid us even more? I don‘t think so.

Notice how I also drew Franky Banky being good-natured about the situation at the end – that’s where I am at in my stuttering journey. While it has been decades since I’ve been asked if I had forgotten my name, if the situation were to come up today, I’m sure I’d still be annoyed and insulted but I would simply smile and say “No, I speak with a stutter”. Their awkward “Oh! Uh, Sorry!” reply would be enough for me to know that I’ve done my awareness job.

If being asked if you forgot your name would definitely not be something you can see or feel positive about, that’s ok, too. Your feelings are valid and you can educate and spread awareness the way you want to.

March 30, 2023


Daniele Rossi's artistic signature
An illustration of the author standing next to a pile of sketchbooks. Franky Banky is sitting on top reading one of the books. Ti-Ger is sneaking around the bottom.