Thursday, January 15, 2009

What About Bob?

It's about time I told readers about something I've had a fascination with for a long time now: the name Bob. I honestly don't know how this began, but somehow it did. I just like the name Bob. It may have started with the hit movie What About Bob? I saw that movie when it first came out in the theaters, and a few times when it was shown on TV. I eventually got it on DVD for only $5.50 at Target.

How do I even begin to tell those I don't know who are reading this what I have done using the name Bob? It's complicated. I've tried using the name Bob as a conversational filler, much the way some of us in California use of the phrase "dude". Of course, it's only my doing (as far as I know!) and some aren't likely to catch onto it. My mom's been OK with it, but my late aunt (God rest her soul) tended to get a little annoyed by it. Often, if someone asked me something, I'd reply. "Yeah, Bob." My aunt often said, "My name is not Bob." I'd also use it in a greeting, "Hi, Bob." My aunt at this would also say, "My name is Not Bob." A family friends reacted the same way when I used these phrases while talking to her. My saying "Hi, Bob" sounded a little like the greeting used on Bob Newhart's 1970s sitcom.

I have often thought Bob would be a good cat name. Though I'm not sure what kind of cat it should go with. What do you think?

Around 2001, I began noticing generic products in grocery stores including generic brands of sodas. All store-brand soda lines seem to contain knockoffs of Dr Pepper and of Mountain Dew, with their own names. I'll be writing about this in another blog so that I can get right to how this ties into my subject of "Bob." I once joked about using "Bob" as the name of a soda line, asking a family friend via e-mail how did Dr. Bob sound. He said it sounds kind cool. Imagine my surprise when I discovered there is actually a soda called Dr. Bob. Sadly, I've never been able to find this, though I have never actually looked for it. I'm under the assumption that it's not available anywhere in California. Anyone know opposite of that? I then asked "How does Mountain Bob sound?" He replied, "Sounds more like some big hairy guy's name." Everyone I asked thereafter seemed to agree with that remark. My former boss remarked that "Mountain Dew is one thing," and that he can't imagine someone saying "I'm going to get a six-pack of Mountain Bob."

There used to be a fast-food restaurant in my hometown called Bob's Drive-In. It's been gone since the early '90s. No doubt many of you have heard of the Bob's Big Boy restaurant chain. I have never actually even seen one of these, let alone that I've never been to one. I liked the idea of a pizza place called Bob's Pizza. while Googling that phrase I came across this in Detroit. In all likelihood, I'll never get to go to this place, since I live who knows how far form Detroit. But it was fun to find this.

How many famous people can you name named Bob? Let's see...
Bob Hope, Bob Dylan, Bob Newhart, Bob Crane, Bob Cummings, Bob Denver, Bob Dole, Bob Hoskins, Bob Keeshan, Bob Fosse, Bob Elliott, Bob Cratchitt, Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice, Bob Mackie, Bob McKenzie, Bob Roberts, Bob's Bog Boy, Twin Peaks Bob, Bob Seger, Bob Sarlatte, Bob Marley, Bob Saget, Bob Weir, Bob Smith, Bob Packwood, Buffalo Bob Smith, Bob Ross, The Bobs, Bob Geldof, Bob Barker, Bob Eubanks, Bob Keeshan, Bob Welch, Bob Vila, Bob the Builder, SpongeBob Squarepants... Gee, could I have missed any? If you don't recognize some of these names, look them up yourself, please!

And I thought this was funny. This of course refers to the hairstyle known as the bob, but the phrasing made it sound like Bob Green was the name of a character or something. And "bob" is also a verb.

This is the basic idea of my fascination with the name Bob. It's a bit too complicated to completely delineate. But I hope you get some ideas about this unusual fascination.. Do any of you have as unusual a fascination as this?

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