Monday, February 12, 2007

Did I ever tell you the story of Mrs. McCave? She had 23 sons and she named them all Dave...

I'm helping out with the statewide English proficiency testing at one of our high schools. I was doing individual speaking tests this afternoon with a group of kids I'd never worked with before.

I came to an unusual name -- let's say it was "Scarlet O'Hara" because it totally wasn't -- which surprised me because I'd already tested Scarlet O'Hara in another class. So I glanced around the classroom and spotted a girl who, sure as shootin', looked exactly like Scarlet O'Hara.

I noted this to the teacher, who said, "Oh, this isn't that Scarlet O'Hara. This is Scarlet O'Hara's twin sister, Scarlet O'Hara."

That's right, identical twins, with identical unusual names. Their middle names, which I didn't quite catch, but may have been "Thumbelina" and "Beatrice," are different, but what the hell does that matter if they both use Scarlet O'Hara. Furthermore, upon administration of the English proficiency test, I determined that Scarlet Thumbelina O'Hara didn't have enough English to pour widdle out of a boot ("How old are you?" "I am fine, thank you.") much less handle a discussion of whether or not it would be sensible to go by Thumbelina. And my Spanish, while better than even I'm willing to admit to myself, was unequal to the task.

I guess on a practical level for everyone else (their mom possibly included) it makes for less muss and fuss for them to have the same name, but I wonder, knowing how identity is such a weird and touchy subject with my identical twin husband, if Scarlet or Scarlet ever wishes people would decide to call her sister by some other name.

3 comments:

Plain Jane Mom said...

A few generations back on my dad's side are twin brothers named "Bobby" and "Robert". Sigh...

L. said...

This is the weirdest thing I've ever heard. I'm astonished the girls haven't rebelled already.

Oh, and "...enough English to pour widdle out of a boot"??? I absolutely love it. Is that its only application? Can it be used in other instances describing some form of complete inadequacy?

(Oh, this is really MaryP, of http://daycaredaze.wordpress.com.
When you don't allow anonymous comments, egocentric blogger deems all non-blogger commenters to be 'anonymous'. Pfft!)

The Management said...

I believe the phrase is a Texas jewel, in the original:
"T'ain't got enough sense to pour the piss outta his boot," or the more elaborate, "he couln't pour piss outta his boot if'n the directions wuz wrote on the heel."

Please feel free to unleash it, with whatever embroidery you wish, on the good people of the motherland.