A Grandpa Bill Story—or idle thoughts on why we call everything ‘Joe’.

I was walking along through a field one day and there was this cat crouching low looking for mice. I said “hello Joe Cat,” but when I walks over to him, he stiffly walks off with a look of, ‘what’s eating you?’ I stood there for a moment thinking, why do we call him Joe cat? It took me a while but I think I figured it out.

A long time ago, everyone was called Joe, but this wasn’t very satisfactory, no-one knew who was who. As times were getting more civilized a meeting was called and it was decided to give everything a different name. A committee of one was formed, headed by Joseph J. Cat. He put a bunch of names in a bag and then he would pull a name from the bag and eventually gave everything a different name, until he had only one animal and one name left. Now this animal loved to hunt mice. He also liked to eat grasshoppers and even crickets and spiders. But the only name left in the bag was Owatta Punk and that’s the name he got.

As time went on everybody found mice all over the place; cheese shops were folding up as all the cheese was disappearing and everyone who loved cheese would hang around mouse holes looking for a few leftover crumbs. There were so many grasshoppers they ate every leaf of grass and even covered the ground. Trains going into towns would skid past them into cities and trains coming from cities would skid into the ocean. Spiders would run up ladies’ legs and build webs in their hair. This made the ladies scream. What had happened to the animal who ate mice and grasshoppers and spiders, they wanted to know? Things got so bad they called in Mr. Joseph J. Cat to find out what was wrong. Where was their mousegrasshopperspider catcher? What did he say to him?

“Well,” said Mr. Joseph J. Cat, “since I only had one name— ‘Owatta Punk’—left, I gave the name to him.”

Now it turns out this animal couldn’t stand being called ‘Owatta Punk, so he just went away and hid. But the rest of the animals said, “This cant go on! You will just have to give him your name and you will have to take his!”

So that is how my litle friend in the field came to be known as Joseph J. Cat, or Joe for short. (The J. stands for Josephine in case he’s a girl). And the animal he traded names with was Man, or otherwise now known as Mr. Owatta Punk.

And I think that is the nuttiest story you ever heard—Love Grandpa

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