Friday, March 6, 2020

Let's make March 7 International Sisters Day.

My sisters are named — and pay attention, this is important — Mary Leona, Mary Charlene; Norma Ann, Bertholde Marie and Mary Hughiena.

HEART MONIKERS: Me and my sisters;
 namely, Norma Ann, Mary Hughiena Bertholde Marie and Mary Charlene.
Read those names again.

Each contains the requisite get-into-heaven-free-Catholic names “Mary,” “Marie” or “Ann,” but they’re also supercharged with the following zingers:


Here’s why you have to know this.

Have you ever heard the song (written by Shel Silverstein and made famous by Johnny Cash) “A Boy Named Sue?

“My daddy left home when I was three
He didn’t leave much for ma and me.
Just this old guitar and an empty bottle of booze
I don’t blame him ‘cuz he run and hid
But the meanest thing he ever did
Was before he left he went and named me Sue.”

My first point is, can you believe I remembered those lyrics off the top of my head? Not only that but I could do the rest of the song if you asked me. Shows you how busy my brain’s not.
NURSE? DOC? NEVER MIND): Huena teaching her
youngest grandson stuff he needs to know 

But that’s neither here nor there.

The important thing is, “A Boy Named Sue” is true science.

Because the kid was named Sue, he had to grow up tough. In a way, his dad did him a favour.

Which brings me to my mom and my sisters.

My mother, Huena Frances, also had five sons. She named us Peter, Alex, Ed, Pat and Tom. Simple, easy-to-remember, low-maintenance names all.

Mom was sure that because we were guys, life would be easier for us.

In light of that, my mom went and named my sisters “Hughiena, Charlene, Norma, Bertholde and Leona.” (Auto-correct was brave enough to only take a shot at one of them: Norma. It suggested “normal.” Ha!.)   

The guy who wrote “A Boy Named Sue” knew that the right name is a powerful ingredient.

When it came to her daughters, Huena aimed for and imbued the bunch of them with independence of mind, strength, courage, compassion and — now that I think about it — whackedness.

And that’s why my sisters are the way they are.

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