Thursday, October 14, 2004


I had a great evening. I thought bartending today meant I'd miss the final presidential debate, but that wasn't the case. The soundman ran the audio of the debate through the club sound system while we watched it on the TV screen. He even pushed back the band performance schedule to accommodate it. The candidates' voices boomed loud and clear, with a slight touch of reverb.

"I like this, but I do think it's a little creepy," said my friend J.

I had the privilege of watching the debate with the lovely and friendly members of an Australian guitar-pop band. We talked a bunch of politics--about our election, their recent election, and a lot of other issues. I had no idea that the Australian Liberal Party is actually conservative. I also didn't know there were so few Aboriginal people left. It was so interesting to compare notes and exchange views. I wonder why I always seem to get along so well with Australians?

The s.o. asked me to stop and buy office supplies at Wal-Mart on my way home. There's a nighttime greeter there, an old guy with oversized dentures, who knows me by sight because I come in sometimes after working at the bar. (Wal-Mart, hideous and evil though it is, gets a little bit of my business because it's open 24 hours and nothing else is.) Tonight he stopped me on my way out and asked me where I got my Anniston Bowling Center t-shirt.

"I got it at a thrift shop in Alabama," I answered. "It was either in Anniston or in Oxford, I can't remember which."

"Oxford, Alabama!" he repeated. "I was named after a man from that town. It's quite a name I got, not an easy one to pronounce."

His nametag said "I.J." He flipped it over and showed me that his full first name was Iolus.

"Eye-olus?" I attempted.

"Nope," he said. "Ollie-us."


"Yep, Ollie-us," he affirmed. "It was me and a little black boy who got named after that fella. The little black boy died. They allus said it was the name that kilt 'im."

I retold the story to the s.o. when I got home. We agreed that if we ever get another sweet, goofy boy dog, we should name him Iolus. I hope I can get past my aversion to aphonetic names* and do exactly that.


* I began developing this aversion in the 1980s, when I first heard Isiah Thomas's name pronounced out loud.