Day 120: A song with your name in it (middle names count if your first name is like Brunhilde or something).

“Joey” – Concrete Blonde

JoeyPerhaps the obvious choice for today’s song would be “Hey Joe” by Jimi Hendrix. But I’ve grown tired of the joke, so I don’t want to acknowledge the song. You know what I mean. Someone will walk up, and quite innocently perhaps, say “Hey Joe.”

And then there’s the pause. And the slight change of facial expression. Then you know.

You know that their brain has made the connection. You can see it coming like a freight train down the tracks, but you know you can’t get out of the way. You do the mental equivalent of Bruce Willis in Die Hard, diving out of the way of the explosion, but physically you’re stuck. And then there it is: “Where you goin’ with that gun in your hand?”

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I’m going to shoot you for making that bad joke, Mr Original.

But instead you smile and say, “Ha ha. Yep. Never heard that one before.”

So no, I’m not going there. And please, people, do all of us Joes a favor and retire the whole thing. At 45 years, it’s been going on entirely too long. Do you really think we haven’t heard it before? (And don’t even get me started on the people who hear my last name and ask me if I’m related to Peter. Really? Spiderman? That’s the best you got?)

Instead, I’m going the “Joey” route. Which also has its difficulties, because I don’t feel like a “Joey.”  I haven’t felt like a Joey since I was about 10. Baby kangaroos feel like joeys. Most men over the age of 18 do not. With the possible exception of (and I’m going to stereotype here) Italians, who seem to have an affinity for keeping the Joey moniker around until… well let’s face it, until way too long. Joey Fatone. Joey  Buttafuoco. Joey from “Friends.” You see the pattern.

No, I really feel like a “Joe” and that’s what most people know me by. Just plain old “Joe.”

So, apart from liking the song, I don’t have a special affinity for Concrete Blonde’s “Joey” based on name alone. Which is good, since it’s reportedly about an alcoholic ex-lover. That’s not something I really want to be able to relate to personally.

But…

There does still exist a large complement of people who still call me “Joey.” This tends to be family. I broke most of my immediate family of it. But aunts and uncles have proven more difficult. You know how it is. They’ve been calling me Joey since, well, forever, and now it’s just too far gone for it to ever change. They aren’t about to stop now. They may be psychologically unable to stop. And since they call me Joey, my cousins generally do, too. It’s a vicious cycle.

To be honest, I’m so used to it that if they started calling me “Joe” it would feel wrong. I would be forced to check them for signs of stroke. “Are you okay? Smile for me? Can you raise your arms over your head? Let me call an ambulance. You’ll be all right.”

Ah well… There are worse things. (Worse than being called “Joey,” not the stroke thing. I’m not heartless.)