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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Infamous Names From the Past...

Does your family have a recurring story about some person from years ago that has lived on and on, even though you have long since lost contact with the person in question? We do.

One of my brothers used to hang out with this kid named Joe Poe. They must have been in Junior High School at the time and the story goes that my brother and this kid Joe were at a Grant's Department Store when the manager or some official saw the kid stuff something in his pocket.

As soon as the boys had exited the store, the manager was in hot pursuit and as soon as the kids rounded the corner toward the back of the store for a sure getaway, Joe Poe discarded whatever little item he had shoplifted and figured that the chase would be off. But, the manager was a little more persistent and in fact snagged my brother and his friend not far away.

During the questioning that ensued (keep in mind - this was in the 70's when kids didn't have lawyers at the age of 15), the Grant's store manager, now completely exhausted from the sprint through the rear parking lot, was in no mood for any buffoonery. He asked Joe his name and young Master Poe, realizing the gig was up, said, "Joe Poe."

Immediately, the manager shrieked back aggressively, "Don't give me that bullshit! What's your real name?"

Joe and my brother looked at one another and Joe quickly offered up a more believable "Mike Smith" to which the manager allegedly responded, "Alright Smith, your father is getting a call from me tonight."

And when the phone numbers were provided, I'm sure the DJ at WTUE in Dayton, was more than happy to take the Grant's Manager's request.

My wife's family has this different kid that they have been using during family arguments since elementary school.

It seems my wife's brother went to school with some kid named Robert Niles. Geeze, if you do a Google search on this guy and he is still around, I sure hope he can appreciate the fact that his name has lived on long after he went to school with my brother-in-law in the 4th or 5th grade.

The gist of it is that this kid, Robert Niles, allegedly stole my brother-in-laws Crayons or some such nonsense. After a shakedown was performed (kids back in the 70's didn't have lawyers, remember?), the crayons were found and Robert Niles, though he denied taking the contraband, was found to be a liar.

Not long after this incident, a skirmish of some sort occurred at home. My wife's parents intervened and attempted to sort out the matter and one kid denied some fashion of wrongdoing involved in the case and it was then that my brother-in-law first spoke the words that would become famous and used for years in the family, "You lie like Robert Niles."

For all I know, Mr. Niles could be a policeman, a member of the judiciary, a priest or just a normal fine upstanding citizen. We simply don't know. But in this family, if you want to really accuse someone of being a big fat liar, you go Robert Niles on them.

Who has made an impression on your family and will never realize how famous (or infamous) they have become? Tell me about it.


Blonde Goddess said...

There was a couple that lived across the street from my grandparents. His name was Hjalmar (HYHALMER) and he and his wife used to spend a lot of time with them.Once when my grandmother was having a birthday party for my mother, he spilled punch all over the sandwiches.
Because he was Swedish, his accent was strong and he exclaimed, "Oh my! Now we have pink shamsiwiches!"
So now...all these years later we still talk about Hjalmer's pink shamwiches.

Dave said...

They sound kinda tasty!

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San Antonio, TX, United States
I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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