Monday, 3 October 2011
John Doe a No No
If you’re American and your surname is Doe, it’s kind of a jinx to name your son John. How often have we seen in the cop shows, the procedurals, a detective ask down the mortuary, ‘what you got for us, doc?’
‘Got us a John Doe’, replies the mortician pulling out a drawer from an oversized filing cabinet containing a cadaver played by an actor hoping he won’t get typecast.
‘We only want what’s best for our son’, say Mr and Mrs Doe, but surely he can aspire to something better than getting done in and a label on his big toe? There must be some John Doe’s who have died of natural causes, they say. But, Mr and Mrs Doe, when did you last see a John Doe inscription down the local cemetery?
Even if you’re an ever-optimistic, happy-go-lucky John Doe, you’re always going to have that odd moment of dark reflection and the odds stacked against you that someone won’t pass by cheerily, chirping: ‘Cheer up mate, might never ‘appen! Ha!’
In all of this, an interesting question arises. Where can you buy those toe labels for corpses? What if you’ve rooted around in the morgue stationery cupboard and you’re down to your last couple? Or do you get down to your last few toe labels and there’s a divider sheet that’s a reminder to restock rather like those in your cheque book when you’re running down to your last few pages? Either way, supplies are low. Best bet down your Paperchase store is a peek around the special occasions section of the greetings cards racks. You’ve got your ‘Happy Birthday Brother’, ‘Congratulations on Passing Your Driving Test’; a bit further on, your ‘Toe Labels for the Deceased’ – possibly next to something like ‘Sorry for Your Loss’.