Gently Poking Fun At A German’s Name

24 Apr

You know how some things are funny because they’re not meant to be, and that if they had intended to be funny then they actually wouldn’t be? Like some time a couple of years ago I was sat at home watching athletics on the telly when this distance runner’s face came up on the screen, and underneath his face was written his name, and at the exact same time that I looked down to read it, the commentator said it out loud, as if my subconscious had the exact same voice as whoever it was that was commentating that day, and as I simultaneously read and heard the two words I realised that it was the greatest name belonging to anyone on the planet. Gaylord Silly. It’s fucking genius, isn’t it? Course it is! Gaylord Silly. Gaylord. Silly. Do you reckon he ever introduces himself in the style of 007? The name’s Silly, Gaylord Silly. The name is silly. But it isn’t meant to be. I truly believe it was an honest mistake on the part of Gaylord’s parents. The Sillys. Or maybe they pluralise their name to the Sillies. No, that would make no sense. But anyway, before I lose my trail of thought, I am stoned by the way, if that name Gaylord Silly had been made up by someone trying to be funny, it wouldn’t actually be that funny. Like if I said ‘Oi John, quick, come up with a funny name for a bloke on the spot,’ and he blurted out ‘Gaylord Silly,’ it wouldn’t be as funny would it? Actually whatever way you look at it, it’s always going to be a funny name. But if me and John had had that conversation a year ago, the one where I told him to come up with a funny name on the spot and he said Gaylord Silly, if we had had that conversation a year ago, I am almost certain that I wouldn’t remember it now. The name would have popped up, made me laugh, and then gone away to die somewhere. Because it would have been made up with the intention of being funny. Which would make it not as funny. Whereas Gaylord Silly’s name is not meant to be funny. So it is. In case you were wondering, me and John didn’t have that conversation about funny names a year ago. There is no John. I am rambling. Big time. I may have lost a couple of readers along the way there. Which means that I am now only left with the one.

The reason for that pointless introductory paragraph was that a couple of days ago I encountered my own Gaylord Silly. In a metaphorical sort of way. And it made me laugh enough that earlier this morning I had to go out walking for two hours just to find it again, this time with a borrowed camera in my pocket, as I am one of those weird people who don’t own a camera-phone, nor a camera, nor a phone. Which is annoying when you come across something that you either want to photograph or tell someone about. But I would say the positives of not owning a phone outweigh the negatives. I digress. Yea anyway, my metaphorical Gaylord Silly. I was out in the Spanish countryside, but could see the blue sea over the hills, which meant that I had wandered closer to the coast than usual, which also meant that I was in an area home to British, Dutch and German retirees, and before anyone accuses me of showing favouritism to any of those countries, you will notice I listed them alphabetically, and I came across this house, and as I passed it I couldn’t help but notice that the name of the occupants was engraved into a plaque by their gate. My initial reaction was to think ‘Oh look, a novelty name plaque, and not an overly funny one at that. What was the point in buying that? I bet the bloke who lives here is a riiiiiiiiiight laugh. I was being sarcastic there, that was what all the iiiiiiiiiiis were meant to convey. Basically I wasn’t impressed with this attempt at humour, and was convinced that it was the work of a dull Englishman, the kind who calls himself the office joker and who owns a mobile disco. I was just about to walk on, when I noticed that although the male’s name was an attempt at comedy, the woman’s name underneath wasn’t. At least, it didn’t strike me as such. The woman’s name was Uta Fischer. That would only be funny if an uta was something you could go fishing for. And even then it wouldn’t be very funny. It wouldn’t be funny at all. When I read the name Uta Fischer I didn’t think comedy attempt, I thought German. It was just a standard German name. And then it clicked that Uta Fischer’s companion’s name was almost definitely also just a Standard German name, and not a crap attempt at being funny. Which now made it fucking funny. In fact, my first reaction was to blurt out ‘Good grief, that’s his real name!’


In case that’s too small for you to see clearly, here’s a close-up I took:


Gerd Greef! Gerd – not amusing on its own. Greef – also not amusing on its own. But put the two together, good grief what a combination! It’s dawning on me at this moment that this might not actually be funny to anyone that isn’t me. Or that may just be a bit of paranoia creeping in. I feel I may be disappointing you. Like this has all been a waste of time. That the name Gerd Greef might not be funny at all. Is it? It is, right? I really hope it is, because I spent the last two nights going to bed reminding myself that I needed to go out the following day, trying to remember where I had been, with a camera, just to take a picture of Gerd Greef’s name. And today I got up early and forced myself to do just that. Just to be able to write this. This thing that I’m now doubting is funny or entertaining at all. Hmmmm. Okay. Do you reckon that Gerd Greef was ever just doing something in the past, like a crossword, or trimming his moustache, and in the background one of his kids or someone else’s kids or just someone was watching the Charlie Brown cartoon, and one of the cartoon’s cast said ‘Good grief,’ and Gerd Greef involuntarily took his eye off of the crossword or his moustache to look up because he thought someone had called out his name? I bet that happened all the time. It was a bit embarrassing earlier when I was outside their house taking photos, cos Gerd spied me through a window and came out to see what I was up to. I decided that the best path to take was the truthful one, so I just explained that I was taking a picture of their name plaque because to a native English speaker, or possibly just to me, his name was comical. But Gerd didn’t get what was funny about his name, I think mostly because he didn’t speak very good English at all, and it was quite difficult for me to explain, and just as I was attempting to, Gerd’s lady friend Uta Fischer came out and asked what was going on, and Gerd just told her to go back in the house as there was nothing to see here, but she had a curious look on her face and I didn’t think it was fair to just leave her in the dark, so I told her that to a native English speaker, or possibly just to me, Gerd Greef’s name was quite funny, and I just wanted to take a picture of it so that I could always have a reminder. She asked why it was funny, so I explained, and when I was finished she said ‘So, what is it that my companion’s name sounds like?’ And I said ‘Good grief.’ And she said ‘Good grief?’ And Gerd said ‘Yes, darling?’ in a strong Bavarian accent. And she said ‘I was just saying good grief.’ And Gerd said ‘Yes, and I was just asking what you wanted. Usually when you say someone’s name, it is because you want to attract their attention.’ And she said ‘But I wasn’t saying your name. I was saying good grief. Your name is Gerd Greef. There is a big difference.’ And then I said ‘Well, not that big a difference. That is the reason the name is funny. Because the difference between the two is small.’ And Gerd said ‘Yea, he’s right, you know?’ And she said ‘I’m not sure that he is, you know?’ And I said ‘Okay, I’ll be on my way. Mind how you go. Tschüss!’ 





6 Responses to “Gently Poking Fun At A German’s Name”

  1. belicovaa April 24, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

    Omg and i thought Gaylord Silly was funny… and then i kept reading and reached the Gerd Greef part… i died laughing and i don’t even smoke 🙂

    • Kris Mole April 25, 2014 at 6:14 am #

      Brilliant, that’s really nice to know! Thanks!

  2. jillianbain April 24, 2014 at 4:58 pm #

    Really enjoyed this post, would love if you followed for follow !

    • Kris Mole April 25, 2014 at 6:22 am #

      Thanks Jillian, glad you enjoyed! I’ll check out your blog when I have a bit more internet time; it’s something of a novelty these days…..

  3. lisa April 24, 2014 at 7:07 pm #

    hahah! that gave me a much needed laugh today!

    • Kris Mole April 25, 2014 at 6:13 am #

      ha, good, I’m glad! Thanks Lisa, I hope all is well in your world.

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