Apologies to anyone who didn’t watch The League of Gentlemen: this post may be less amusing without a background knowledge of Papa Lazarou. Though, actually, there will be some humour cross-over for Only Fools and Horses fans… Oh, who are we kidding? Television viewing preferences are irrelevant: we all know it is funny to call people Dave. Unless their name is Dave. It is true that the humour value of calling people Dave is reduced if their name is Dave.
So, as you may have guessed, The Toddler is calling people Dave. It was announced one morning: ‘Mummy’s Dave!’
‘Yes, Mummy’s Dave. The Baby’s Dave.’
‘The Baby’s Dave too?’
‘Yes! The Toddler’s Dave!’
‘You’re Dave? Is everyone Dave?’
There is a game that consists of calling random businesses and asking for Dave. The theory is that everyone works with a Dave. This may be so, but The Toddler prefers not to leave anything to chance. Everyone The Toddler works with is now Dave. Including The Toddler.
The Dave situation rapidly escalates. ‘Mummy’s Dave. The Baby’s Dave. The Toddler’s Dave. The cat is Dave!’ (The cat glares at The Toddler. The newly-named Dave The Cat is not happy.) Eventually, The Toddler’s transformation into Papa Lazarou is complete: Silly Mummy enters the room, The Toddler bounces over, ‘Hello, Dave!’ (Silly Mummy promptly wastes a good 15 minutes trying to teach a bemused toddler to say ‘you are my wife now’.)
Silly Mummy believes that the Dave episode is an important scientific discovery, proving the inherent comedy value of calling people Dave. The Toddler has never done this with any of the other names she knows. She has never seen ‘The League of Gentlemen’ or ‘Only Fools and Horses’. Yet she knew, instinctively, deep down in her soul, that it is just funny to call random people Dave. Silly Mummy is writing to the Editor of New Scientist as we speak: ‘Dear Dave…’
(*Quote attributable in part to The Toddler and in full to The League of Gentlemen)
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