Sunday, December 25, 2005

Heyyyyyy, Jakoviak!

When I was twelve and in sixth grade, I heard a number of my classmates do a strange thing. They would, from time to time, seemingly without provocation, suddenly shout “Heyyyyyy, Jakoviak!”

As an outsider and a nerd, I was in no position to inquire about their strange actions, but I found the exclamation quite nice, and soon you could hear me making the same shout at random moments: “Heyyyyyy, Jakoviak!”

As you can imagine, my choice of TV programs was way off the norm, but one evening during a sports presentation, I saw an ad for a popular brand of beer. Someone in the ad yelled, “Hey, Getcha cold beer!” When I heard this, chills ran down my spine. The words were quite different, but the overall sounds and speech rhythms were the same. I believed that when I said you know what, that they had of course heard me say “Hey, Getcha cold beer.” And of course I realized my companions had been quoting this ad.

I'm going to try to convey to you the depths of my embarrassment, but I doubt I'll succeed. I knew at that moment that I, a teetotaler, had allied myself with the twelve year old beer drinkers in my class. Waves of remorse and embarrassment swept over me, and of course I never said anything like Jakoviak ever again.

Oh yes, I was also embarrassed not to have understood them correctly in the first place.

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