Between the devil and the Ducati

Remember Johnny Cash’s centerpiece “A Boy Named Sue“?

My daddy left home when I was three
And he didn’t leave much to ma and me
Just this old guitar and an empty bottle of booze.
Now, I don’t blame him cause he run and hid
But the meanest thing that he ever did
Was before he left, he went and named me “Sue.”

… and then, of course, William Shakespeare’s immortal Juliet argues (alas, unsuccessfully) that the fact that her Romeo has the ‘wrong’ surname is all that prevents them from loving each other: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” — as names go, Juliet comes from the Latin name JULIUS, which could be
traced either to a Greek word meaning “downy-bearded”, or to the Roman God Jupiter. Romeo, on the other hand, is an Italian name that stems from the Latin name Romaeus – “a pilgrim to Rome.”

The strangest name ever recoded (Googled, unconfirmed) was given to a little Swedish boy named Albin by his parents, who wanted to spell his name like this:”Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116“. They went to court to try get the 43 letter name admitted, but were not successful.

So if you are a boy named Sue, Albin (full spelling) or a boy and girl named Romeo and Juliet, you have to deal with the package that comes with your name. Imagine, then, how horrfied were the good men and women of Reeves,  when they were told, one day in the early 60’s, that their phones will have the prefix 666 – known to many Christians as the
number of the beast mentioned in the Book of Revelations:” Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six.” (Revelations, 13, 18.) Reeveseans protested long (very long) and hard – until finally, 40 years after the battle began, Reeves, Louisiana, has been awarded a new prefix — a perfectly innocuous 749. Mayor Scott Walker is jubilant, calling the name change “divine intervention”. No doubt, one can expect an increase in incoming phone calls, made by people who could not phone anyone at Reeves because of a bad case hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia – or fear of the numbers 666.

Reeveseans may not be aware of the fact that their new prefix, 749, is known as The Ducati Superbike – known in my neighborhood as (are you ready for it?) “the little red devil.”

To be continued… maybe 40 years from now?

A happy, prosperous new year to all.