Most of the time, my friends just call me Mike. Short, simple, fairly easy to remember. Kind of a friendly name I like to think. Kind of like "old buddy Mike". My Grandma Dean used to call me "Mikey Me Boy" with kind of an Irish lilt. I always liked the name, particularly the fact that it was easy to spell...the easy spelling helped me through my early years of grammar school.
On the other hand, when I screw something up ROYAL, which I have done on occasion, these same friends and family members... will, without doubt, scream "ROBERTS!". They don't usually spell it out, but they kind of yell it out - which has always left a lasting impression on me. When you analyze what I have done to cause some of these "ROBERTS!!!!! responses, often times you will see there is a good reason for it. I am going to break these down into several examples, to avoid what could be one of my longest pieces.....there have been numerous occaisions where "ROBERTS" was yelled - many of them deservedly so.
The first time I remember hearing "ROBERTS' screamed at me was in the first grade, and it was kind of a double barrell scream at that. My buddy, Roy Johnson, and I were on the teeter-totter (see-saw) on the play ground when the meanest girl in the first grade came along and started to attack Roy.
Roy had kind of a rough start in life, he was the youngest of 5 of about the meanest brothers I could ever imagine. At one point, before Roy entered first grade, one of his brothers jammed a stick into his neck - and it messed up his vocal cords somehow. Anyway Roy had a very raspy voice to begin with. His hair was white - and I mean white - almost everybody called him cotton because of his hair. I figured his hair turned that way from having to deal with his older brothers who, honestly were meaner than a nest of rattlesnakes. So anyway, it is Roy and me on the teeter-totter, when Brenda Mills (meanest girl in the first grade) started attacking Roy.
Brenda was grabbing at Roy's arms when he is on the upside of the see-saw; but when I let him down she is kicking Roy in the legs with her cowgirl boots. All the time Roy is yelling in his hoarse voice "hep me, hep me, hep" . I didn't know what to do. If I raised Roy up, she was grabbing at him, if I let him down she was kicking him with the boots. All the time Roy is yelling with his poor hoarse voice "hep me, hep me, hep".
Finally, I get Roy where he is up (I am down on the see-saw) so she can't kick him anymore. But she grabs Roy's arm and pulls him over so that he is hanging upside down by his legs on the see-saw. Roy is still yelling "hep me, hep me, hep".
What else could I do? I am sure you'd of done the same. I jumped off my end of the see-saw to help save Roy from Brenda's savage attack. When I did, Roy dropped like a rock - head first on the ground. Luckily, I hadn't killed him....he yelled out in that hoarse voice "ROBERTS", and at that time realized what I had done. Dropped my buddy head first to the ground from several feet in the air. Luckily, Roy was tough and it didn't kill him.
Unfortunately, the first grade teacher Mrs. Brown saw part of the incident, and got the idea that I had planned this out to drop poor Roy in the dirt. She screamed "ROBERTS, you and Johnson" get inside.
Long and short of it....I let Roy down. And we both got a butt whoopin.
I still hate to hear that word...that way... "ROBERTS". But honestly, if I keep on living...I'll probably have to hear it some more.
God Bless You Roy Johnson...wherever you are.
All the best,