Lets People Call Him “Moe”?
Although that wasn’t what I was thinking when I created that entry in my profile on the right of aMMusing‘s main page, Bush Whacker reminded me the other night of the origin of this joke. So since earlier I was looking for a story to tell you…
At the time (1993-1996), I was working as the supervisor of the language lab at MSVU. One day I was walking down the hall not far from the lab — heading for a smoke outside — when I saw her coming towards me: We’ll simply call her Dr. J, and she was the equivalent of a dean until she retired in the late ’90s.
Dr. J, you have to understand, was originally from the Boston area. She had that accent, if you know what I mean — the one in which the letter R doesn’t exist. She even had the same family name as a rather famous Massachusetts family. And although she’d been in Canada for centuries, she still had that little something that singled her out in a crowd of Canadians.
You also have to understand that Dr. J liked to think of herself as hip despite her age. One way in which she would try to demonstrate her prowess was to appropriate slang words and pepper them into her everyday speech. Unfortunately for both of us, she even tried to throw in some ebonics. Consequently, rather than saying “Hi” or “Hello,” she would often say “Yo” or “Ho.”
So as I was saying, I was heading out for a smoke. The hallways were filled with students heading to their 10:30 class. And when just a few feet separated us, she said it loud and clear.
— Ho, Moe!
I literally stopped dead in my tracks. The worst part was that she didn’t hear what she had just said! Still I took a quick look at myself to see if I was dressed particularly flamboyantly that day. (I wasn’t.) And then I simply said, pretending that I, too, hadn’t heard what she had just said:
— You know… My mother is the only person I let call me ‘Moe’…