Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Oh For Heaven's Namesake

I have a pretty common name. Just today I was picking up my new glasses (you guys have no idea how good it feels to be able to read without straining my eyes again. I look very "Perfection as a Hipster" right now) and the woman informed me that I had the same exact name as a girl her 12-year old son had a crush on. As much as I would like to think of myself as a pre-teen heartthrob, this girl was also 12 and in her son's class.

Like most people, I have googled myself numerous times. I myself have never done anything significant enough to merit being a top google result, but some of my namesakes have. There was a jazz singer with my name and an actress who was on Heartbreak High, apparently.

The best one, however, is possibly among the greatest results anyone has ever received when typing their name into google. I got on Triple J breakfast talking about it once. All the callers before me were pretty boring, things like "Yeah apparently there is a pillow with my name" and "There is a PORNS actress with my name!". Of course there's a porn star with your name. There is a porn star with everybody's name.

But mine, mine was great. I found it in some kind of historical archive recounting old legal documents from centuries past. My namesake lived in Salem, Mass. a couple of centuries ago and, as the documents say, "she would be a burden on the town for many years to come". It seems that after her husband died, this woman decided to spend her time being publicly drunk, having illegitimate children and wasting many of the town's dollars in having her "cared for".

There is one thing I don't quite get though. I mean, this was Salem. And she wasted a lot of the town's money. Do you think there was one guy in all those council meetings who ever spoke up to say:

"Hey! Um, hey guys? I know this is a touchy subject and all, but this is Salem. We could probably get away with just, you know, burning her at the stake? It would save us a lot of money."

But, she ended up dying years later from something alcohol related. One of the many reasons I would count her as my favourite namesake.

-Smackie Onassis

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