It's Friday, August 9, 2013. On Fridays, a bunch of us gather from around the globe and write haiku poetry, tell stories, display photos and generally just visit back and forth and share bits of our lives with each other. We call it Haiku My Heart
Join the fun. Visit Rebecca's blog, recuerda mi corazon.
What is excitement?
Finding your name in bright lights
Maybe I'm famous
When I was a young boy growing up in the Chicago suburbs, we had a name that we would use when we wanted to tell a story or a joke or tease someone. It was a name for a nondescript male of the species. We would say Joe Matradatz. That’s Mah-Trah-Dots’, with the accent on the Dots. It isn’t unusual to use the first name of Joe, as that is customary in many cases, like when I referenced it in a previous post of mine entitled "The Name Game"
I revolted. “If Joe isn’t more popular than that, why do we have so many references to Joe?”
Who hasn't heard these phrases; Hey Joe, (Where you goin’ with that gun in your hand?), Cuppa Joe, Morning Joe, Joe Momma, Plain Old Joe, GI Joe, Say it ain’t so, Joe, Joltin' Joe, Joe from Kokomo, Joe this, Joe that, Joe the other. Joe the plumber. Joe the bartender. Joe’s Bar. Joe’s Diner. Joe’s Bar and Grill, Eat at Joe’s. Joe Mauer, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Joe Namath, Joe Montana, Joe Hill.
Cowboy Joe, Joe Millionaire, Joe Blow, Average Joe. Not to mention the use of Joe as a middle name. Billy Joe, Bobby Joe, Randy Joe. There is a town called Joe, North Carolina and a Joey is what they call a baby kangaroo in Australia. And how many more using the shortened version, spelling Joe without the “E” on the end like Mary Jo? Who is Joe Blow anyway?
Why when I was a kid, a fictitious character we all sought to mock was a character we called Joe Matradatz! I mean, if James is so damn popular, why don’t they use his name for coffee? Cuppa Jim, or Jim Matradatz?
Anyway, you get the point, I think. But in real life, one of the things that was more than subtle that we noticed while on our recent trip to British Columbia was the common, and even frequent, occurrence of the name Joe, or a derivative, in the form of what my Mother called me when she wasn’t angry. That would be Joey.
Joseph was what she used to call me when she wanted my attention or was angry. Joey was what people called me when I was growing up and what most of my family and some old friends call me even today.
The first Canadian town we stayed in, Cranbrook, BC, had us finding a suitable place for dinner on a very hot sultry July day. In a handy guide to area restaurants that we found in our motel room, we spotted a place that served fish and chips and on Tuesdays, you could get all you can eat.
Guess what? It was a Tuesday, and the place wasn’t far from the motel. In fact, you could see the sign for the place from the motel room window.
It was called Joey’s Seafood Restaurant. I guess there’s a chain of them in Canada. But the weird part of this story is that before dinner, we were spending some time shopping for little gifts and post cards we could send to our Grandkids and we saw the big Walmart Supercenter, but we didn’t want to shop somewhere that was familiar. After all, we were in Canada, a foreign country.
Besides, we usually don’t go to corporate chain stores or dining establishments, but since we were in Canada and didn’t know any better, and since it was named Joey’s, which is my name, we thought it okay to try the eating place out for dinner, but not the Walmart for shopping.
|Real Canadian Superstore|
We wandered down a street that intersected the main drag through town and saw a large stand alone store with a hugh parking lot. It turned out to be the “Real Canadian Superstore”. We parked and went in. We were giggling to ourselves at the prospect of not having any Canadian currency in our pockets and how conspicuous we seemed to be. A stop at an ATM and a hundred dollars in Canadian bills later, at an exchange rate of $0.97 American cents to each Canadian dollar, thank you very much, and we were in business.
What caught our eye was in the clothing department, where we shopped for close-out bargains of T-shirts that were left over from Canada Day, which had past. Now, like Christmas wrapping paper on the day after Christmas and Halloween candy in November, said T-shirts were reduced up to 50%. Yes, the bargain had our attention, but the designer label for all apparel at the Real; Canadian Superstore was Joe Fresh..
After shopping, it was time to eat and we went to Joey's Seafood Restaurant. as planned.The food was so-so. Service was terrible as the place got slammed with fast-arriving customers when we were there. Aside from that, we still thought the name unique.
I took a paper napkin with the name on it as a souvenir. Imagine, a restaurant with my name. How cool was that?
Joey’s Seafood Restaurant
It wasn’t long after, the next evening to be exact, we stayed in the town of Hope, BC. Sure enough, we spotted Joe’s Restaurant and Lounge. We considered eating there, but opted for some fresh fruit from the local grocery instead. Still, another eating establishment with that all too familiar name, my name, Joe.
Joe’s Restaurant and Lounge
The next day, while we were getting around and seeing some sights in Vancouver, we saw another place named Joey Broadway. Turns out, these too are a chain of Joey restaurants throughout Canada. We didn’t eat there either, but we did go around the block, in very busy traffic I might add, to get a photo of the Joey Broadway sign.
Next, we were in Klamath Falls, Oregon and saw this gas station deli sign. Sure enough, Joe’s Deli Mini Mart. That’s where I filled the gas tank on the Edge, at Joe’s.
Joe’s Deli Mini Mart
I tell you, there were a few other places with that name on them all over the place. Joe’s Cafe, Joe’s Diner, Joe’s Barber Shop, Joe’s Lock and Key, and on and on. So many, I stopped turning around to take pictures of all the signs. Joe this and Joe that. Seeing my name being so popular could have gone to my head. But it didn’t. I did comment to Mrs. Spadoman that I never saw one place that was called Barb’s or Barbara’s along the entire trip.
Anyway, mundane as it seems, it is a thrill to see something with your name on it publicly. Plenty of Joe’s and Joey’s out there this trip. It was fun joking and laughing about it and taking pictures of the signs.
Here a Joey, there
A Joey, everywhere a
Joey Joe Joey