Sunday 8 August 2010

dad (5): normans

From a phone conversation today:

Dad: I’m getting a computer. A laptop.

Me: Oh great. At last! That’ll be good. I think you’ll get a lot of pleasure out of it.

Yes. I’ve got my eye on a Toshiba.

Okay. I’m a Mac man personally.

A what?

A Mac, Macintosh. Apple.

Is a Mac the same as an Apple?

Yes. Apple Macintosh. We just call them Macs.

They're bit too expensive for me, I think.

You’ll need broadband.

Yes, I’ve been told. And I’ve talked to BT about a package.

Oh good. Fantastic. Will Martin show you how to set it up and get it going?

Ooh yes, he’s very good. We’ve seen your website.

My what?

Martin found your website. He showed me a picture of a naked man with a big flag with a dog on his leg.

Oh. Blimey. Yes, okay: that’s Oleg Kulik.


Oleg Kulik. He’s a rather eccentric Russian performance artist. He used to do dog impersonations; he bit someone once, outside a gallery.

Oh. What’s he doing on your website?

It’s a blog. Oh, I don’t know, he’s quite funny. He’s a bit wild.

Is he? I’ve been watching ‘The Normans’ on television. There’s a new documentary.

Oh, have you?

They were a bit wild. Ooh, a rough old lot.

Are you in there? You being one of the Normans.

No, haven’t seen me yet.

Your name sort of means ‘Norman Norman’, doesn’t it. Norman Williams. Williams has Norman written all over it.

Does it?

Yes, it’s an old Norman word for helmet.

Is it?

I think so. Comes from Guillaume.

Oh yes, Guillaume.

Yes, Helmet. Do you know my name means ‘Beloved Helmet’. A combination of Hebrew and old Norman. David – beloved. And Williams – helmet. You named me Beloved Helmet.

Oh. That’s a good name.

Yes. David’s very Biblical.

Yes it is. By the time they got to me my family had exhausted the Biblical names so they turned to the Nordic names. Norman Eric.

But Norman’s Norman.

No, I’m not sure, I think it’s German or Scandinavian. A northerner. Maybe a viking.

Is it? Oh. So what were the other Biblical names in the family? Any good ones – an Ezekial, or a Leviticus? A Jehosaphat?

No no, James, and John, and Mary, that sort of thing. Although I think there was an Obadia …

No, really? Obadia? You're kidding.

No ...

Wow! Obadia Helmet. That’s a corker.

Although I’m not sure he was a Helmet …

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