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That Which We Call A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet; Unless, Of Course, A Bird Pooped On It!

Our columnist has seemingly rebounded from the tragic loss of the Seattle’s Best Coffee Shop at Borders, as well as his traumatic confession to his fear of massage therapy. But what’s all this about Shakespearian plays and bird droppings?

My son does not appreciate classical musicians such as the Stones; he is more into bands with names like ‘Heave’ and ‘Squatting Turnips’. – Dave Barry

I borrowed one of the more well-known lines from one of Shakespeare’s most revered plays, Romeo and Juliet, for my title this week. In truth, I only borrowed part of the title. The part about the bird poop is my own, but I’m guessing you had probably already figured that out. 

The story goes that old Bill wrote this line with the Rose Theatre in mind. The Rose, which was in competition with his own Globe Theater, was said to have rather shoddily maintained toilet facilities and, according to legend; this well-known line was Bill’s way of taking a cleverly-veiled shot at them. 

Yes, I call him Bill. We’re on a first name basis. 

Neither the Globe nor the Rose Theaters are to be confused with the former Mansfield Theater where, at the extremely impressionable age of nine; I was horrifically traumatized by watching Old Yeller get shot in the head, totally destroying what had started out as a wonderfully entertaining movie and, more importantly, tragically delaying the onset of puberty for several years. I’m doing much better now. Therapy is a wonderful thing. 

I did suffer a minor setback during my years after seeing Bette Davis serve Joan Crawford a rat on a silver platter in the classic movie, Whatever Happened To Baby Jane at the . I had no inkling as to how much this had affected me until a few years later when I was served Beef Wellington on a silver platter at my Senior Prom at the and, mistaking the Beef Wellington for a rat; I raced out of the ballroom and dove into the swimming pool, screaming like a banshee. Again, I’m doing much better now, though to this day I avoid silver serving dishes at all costs. And you really don’t want to invite me to a wedding. Trust me on that. 

Wow! That was a long, strange trip to get to the actual subject of this commentary. But those of you who read regularly know that’s pretty much the way it goes. If you hang with me long enough, through all the twists and turns and such; I always end up where I need to be. Hopefully, you go along with me. It’s no fun making this trip by myself. 

My son, Chris and his wife, Karre are expecting their first child, Clover Catherine Havey, at the end of this month. I’ve always wondered why we use the term expecting when someone is pregnant. You’re either having the kid or you’re not; am I right? Expecting just seems so vague. So I’m going to correct myself. My son, Chris and his wife, Karre are having their first child, Clover Catherine Havey, at the end of this month. That sounds much better, don’t you think? 

Since this column is entitled, in part, A Rose By Any Other Name; let’s pursue that avenue. This famous line spoken by Juliet is preceded by the question, “What’s in a name?” Juliet’s point is that a name is meaningless and that she loves Romeo, not his family name. So, in essence, what she’s saying to Romeo is that she loves him, not his name, or in this case, because the two families are at war with one another; she loves him and not his family name. 

Okay, so let’s discuss Clover by any other name. Come on now, who names their daughter, Clover?                                                                               

In my June 21st offering in the Easton Patch, , I stated, “It just struck me that one of our grandsons, Logan, is named after an airport and our soon-to-be granddaughter, Clover, is named for a plant in the leguminous pea family. What ever happened to names like Bill and Linda?” 

Am I wrong? After all, this isn’t the sixties! People today don’t name their kids, Rainbow or Sky. I’m doubtful that there are any Moondogs or Starshines gracing the halls of the . And just because Frank Zappa named his children Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen, doesn’t mean we have to follow suit, does it? What are we, Lemmings? 

Then there’s Grace Slick and Paul Kantner of the iconic rock band, Jefferson Airplane, who named their daughter, China, though it had been widely reported they had given her the name, God. As it turned out, that was merely urban legend. You’ve got to believe God was happy about that. 

Then there’s Elijah Blue, Saffron Sahara, Spec Wildhorse and Tiger Lily; all actual names of innocent little babies who have been scarred for life due to their parent’s astonishing lack of judgment. 

I had a friend out in Los Angeles back in the sixties who named her daughter, Sheah (pronounced She-ah). When I asked how on earth she had come up with such a bizarre name; she responded, “Because she was a girl, silly! If I had a boy I would have named him, Heah.” (pronounced He-ah) 

How silly of me to have asked. 

You know, now that I think about it; Clover Catherine is a really pretty name. And I can’t wait to see her! 

Make it a great week! 

Bob Havey is a freelance writer and a Mansfield native, currently living in Easton. His column "Take Me Back" appears each Friday at http://mansfield-ma.patch.com and his column, "The View From Here", may be seen each Tuesday at http://easton-ma.patch.com.

Nancy Zilch August 12, 2011 at 01:56 PM
. . . my granddaughter was going to be named Jasmyne. . . BUT he mother was talked out of it. . . hence Cassie Reed ( actually Donna Nuttall suggested my maiden name as her middle name when my Donna was still trying to come up with a name other than Jasmyne). . . great column, once again. . . I like laughing and smiling. . . hugs
Sandra Jones Chavez August 12, 2011 at 05:17 PM
Ah, Clover Catherine, it has been a long wait for such a blessing as she!!! As for being traumatized, Old Yeller was the first, then there was PSYCHO, I don't think I've showered since without an acute sense of hearing at all times! And lest we forget Alfred's "THE BIRDS", I'm amazed I can even visit New England without Prozac!!! As for names Karre, just sounds nice! No story attached to her name or family name for that matter! Three more weeks, Maybe for the blessed event, and that is self-explanatory!!!!! Love to all, SJC
Kara M August 12, 2011 at 08:03 PM
You're a crazy man Mr H. I always have a great laugh when I read your column. Except for the times when you turn serious on me. Please stop doing that. I need my weekly chuckles.
Frida August 13, 2011 at 02:18 AM
I read this today at work with the girl in the next cubicle and we were laughing so hard we had half the office reading it with us by the time we finished.I think you have some new fans. Very funny stuff. Have a nice weekend.

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