‘WOW,’ the social worker exclaims, ‘Are they all yours?
‘Yeah they are all mine,’ the flustered mother sighs, having heard that question a thousand times before. She says, ‘Sit down Terry.’ All the children rush to find seats.
‘Well,’ says the social worker, ‘then you must be here to sign up. I’ll need all your children’s names.’
‘This one’s my oldest – he is Terry.’
‘OK, and who’s next?’
‘Well, this one he is Terry, also.’
The social worker raises an eyebrow but continues. One by one, through the oldest four, all boys, all named Terry. Then she is introduced to the eldest girl, named Terri. ‘All right,’ says the caseworker. ‘I’m seeing a pattern here. Are they ALL named Terri?’
Their Mother replied, ‘Well, yes-it makes it easier.
When it is time to get them out of bed and ready for school, I yell, ‘Terry!’
And when it’s time for dinner, I just yell ‘Terry!’ and they all come running.’
And if I need to stop the kid who’s running into the street, I just yell ‘Terry’ and all of them stop.
It’s the smartest idea I ever had, naming them all Terry.’
The social worker thinks this over for a bit, then wrinkles her forehead and says tentatively,
‘But what if you just want ONE kid to come, and not the whole bunch?’
‘I call them by their surnames!