Josh, Week 5, Label

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Communal Grandpa Wisdom

I grew up in a neighborhood with a communal grandpa. Grandpa (everyone in the neighborhood called him grandpa) often looked after me in the same way he neglectfully looked after his own grandchildren, but took a unique interest in my development as a young man by naming me "Susie Q". I never understood it, but I went along with it and enjoyed having this special nickname even if it was a girl's name. Everyone in the neighborhood latched onto this practical joke, and so I became... Susie Q. I need to add that I was a very short, scrawny, wimpy little kid (still kinda am minus the short part).
Anyways, years later after I moved away and into another neighborhood without a communal grandpa, I heard the Johnny Cash song "A Boy Named Sue". It's about a boy who was named Sue to ensure he grew up tough, as he would be forced to fight people who made fun of him for being named Sue. So it occurred to me that perhaps Grandpa was trying to do the same for me, but it didn't work.

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I love your wry sense of humor here, Josh! The last line really tells me a lot about your perspective on yourself, your history, and your way of engaging with autobiography in a way that's both honest and ironic at the same time.

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