A month ago, we had some new vinyl flooring fitted in our upstairs bathroom. Whenever we have tradesmen in our house I am most respectful to them. I asked the fellow laying the vinyl if he would like a cup of tea.
Then I said, "I'm sorry, I don't know your name?"
And he replied, "I'm Mickey Rooney!"
This wasn't a wind up. His name really was Mickey Rooney and he was proud to bear such a famous name. I asked him if he had got fed up of making films for Hollywood studios and he laughed. I guess he had heard all the quips before.
It reminded me that when I was a teacher I taught a snotty-nosed kid called George Harrison. He came from the nearby council estate and had a reading age of 7.5 years. He was a bit thick was George. Then there was John Kennedy - a ginger-haired bully boy built like a brick outhouse whose watchword was "defiance". I think he ended up in the army. I wonder how he got his head around army discipline.
I also taught Peter Sutcliffe before The Yorkshire Ripper, captured in 1981, was revealed to have the very same name. Then there was Lizzie whose real name was Elizabeth Taylor and Catherine Howard - but not the same one who married King Henry VIII in 1540. She had very neat handwriting.
Have you met any ordinary people with famous names?