Tue, 01 May 2001

Dear Mr. Wonderful,

What is the origin of the name John Doe for an unidentified male? And why not John Buck and Jane Doe, to be more accurate? Why not Bob Smith, instead of John Doe?

Please have Mr. Dark do my laundry.


all of me


Dear Fake Shemp,

Mister Dark does not do laundry, and indeed, never learned how. He just purchases new suits. "Why bother with all that when so much of your wardrobe has to be burned anyway?" he says.

We can thank the British legal system for "John Doe". Yes, the same jurisprudence that brought made flowing robes and wigs mandatory office wear for non-drag queens also gave us the witty rhyme of "John Doe and Richard Rowe" to stand in for defendants and prosecutors who might wish to remain anonymous.

Why? Pointless to ask, really. This is the same nation that eats "Bubble and Squeak". One suspects that they've been speaking English so long they don't even listen to what the words mean anymore. It's all a musical gloss to cover the real communication, which must be conducted by some subtle sort of body language. Or maybe through scent, like ants.

Not that Mister Wonderful has anything against the English, not since last year when he and Elizabeth Regina came to their little 'understanding'. It's just that one must glance askew at anyone who willingly puts Spotted Dick in their mouth.