I found a little lost boy in a store once. I wasn’t much more than a kid myself. My mother was shopping, my sister and I with her, when this little boy sort of wandered up. Mom freaked a little and rushed all of us to what was then called the courtesy desk.
There was a lot more courtesy back in those days. This was WAY before Adam and the onset of child snatchings. If your kid wandered off, you’d wander until you found him, or you’d hear the announcement from the courtesy desk that someone had located your child and was looking for you.
So we got to the counter, sat the little fella on it (he must have been about three), and we asked him his name.
We looked at each other.
“Boing?” we said with collective skepticism. This was the seventies and stranger names had happened, but still….
“Boing!” he said more emphatically.
Mother looked at me, her face pleading for understanding. I could only shrug. Yep, Boing is what I heard!
“Boing,” we said again. By now I’m thinking, maybe he isn’t telling us his name. Maybe this is just one weird kid.
“BOING!” he practically shouts, obviously getting frustrated.
Finally one of us (I can’t remember who) got in his face and said slowly, “Your…name…is…Boing?”
His little face turned a bit red and he took a deep breath. Very loudly and very slowly and with great agitation he enunciated as properly as his little (it turns out) speech impediment would allow him:
The store manager, my mother, my little sister and I all rejoiced with many “OH!”s and “Of course!”s.
I looked over at little Brian. While all the rejoicing was going on and the manager was calling Brian’s mother over the intercom, our little Boing, as I’d come to think of him, was frowning, red-faced, in toddler angst at the big dummies who couldn’t understand a simple name.
Good thing his name wasn’t Roderick. We might still be there figuring it out.