A Canadian writer teaches English and finds out what it's like to be a foreigner.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

By any other name...

The other day Paul came bounding into the teacher's room to excitedly tell me about this or that.

He was wearing a blue and green knitted glove on his left hand.

"Paul, why are you only wearing one glove?" I asked.

"I don't know," he said, looking down at his hand as if to ask how did that get there?

"You look like Michael Jackson," I teased.

"Who is that? Famous comedy man?"

"Well, not on purpose," I thought.

"He's an American singer," I said, "Here, I'll show you a picture on the internet."

"Oh! Teacher is like me!" he said with glee, seeing Jacko's one white-gloved hand.

***

Later that day, Paul was still wearing the glove so I said "Yes, Michael?" when I called on him in class. The rest of the bunch were confused so I had to explain the situation.

Immediately tired with his new moniker, Paul proclaimed to the eager audience, "My name is TP!"

I laughed. "Paul do you know what TP stands for?"

"No?"

"Toilet paper."

Howls of laughter.

One of Paul's many other aliases is "Polar Bear Friend" so he announced that if he were to add both "Toilet paper" and "Michael Jackson" to his initials, he would become "PBFMJTP."

"You know," I said egging him on, "one of Michael Jackson's nicknames is Jacko."

"JACKO!?"

Howls of laughter.

"Teacher! I am Toilet Jacko and I throw the toilet!"

I think So-so man has a new nemesis.

***

Digging through some papers in my desk this afternoon I found a note I had written down at school and completely forgot about.

There was a reading passage in class about Martin Luther King Jr., and Paul's father's English name is Martin so in keeping with Paul's original outlandish alias, he (with a little help from Joey and Judy) decided that his father's real name was:

"Martin Luther King Jr. Jacket Jackson Girlfriend Girlfriend Freakazoid Bear-riding-a-motorcycle Bee Festival Super Gollum King Polar Bear Nose Hair Noodle Boy."

Yeah... I'd be bored with just "Kim" too.

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