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August 13, 2006

What's In A Name?

Tom McLaughlin

Humor by Tom McLaughlin

How in the world could I have confused Warren Buffet with Jimmy Buffet? But I did. The news media was filled with stories on how Warren plans to give away $40 billion dollars or so to charity.

For days I wandered around thinking how many albums this guy must have sold to amass such a fortune. I knew he was on a resurgence with his Parrot Head Clubs, tours and frozen concoction makers; but, still that was an awful lot of money.

Everyone in the world must have at least 10 copies of the CD with "Margaritaville," including some hitherto unknown tribes wandering New Guinea, I thought. It wasn't until I read the Wall Street Journal that had a drawing of him in a business suit and not a tropical outfit that I realized my mistake. I am glad I did not have a conversation with my financial advisor on that topic.

Another confusion I made was with the Mel's. Here was one responsible for the infamous - or famous-depending on your point view - for the beans scene in the movie "Blazing Saddles." I knew I had seen the movie "Paparazzi" and recall leaving wondering where Mel had been.

Then came the blitz of news of one of them getting drunk and hurling anti-Semitic vomit at a policeman. Why, I continued to wonder, would an actor, born in Brooklyn of Jewish parents, suddenly renounce his heritage? I mean what's this all about?

I realized I didn't have clue who Mel Gibson was and wondered why. A quick turn to the Internet revealed he is a top Republican and I immediately thrust him out of my mind; or what's left of it.

One of my jobs with the party is to introduce the candidates to people as they press the flesh. For example, I will go to a table and announce this is Jim Mathias running for delegate to Annapolis. Jim was mayor of Ocean City for many years and his name is burned into my skull so he is easy to remember.

But others, I sometimes haven't a clue. I will lead one around and may have to ask frequently who they are and what they are running for before I introduce them. It is a horrible situation but my brain will not remember names.

It is quite embarrassing to state this is Cuthbert "Milk Toast" Jones and he is running for Register of Wills when in reality it's Sam "Two Gun" Smith asking for re-election as Sheriff. There is a huge difference between the two offices.

One major problem was with the Montgomery County politicians. They all look alike from that Kennedy guy to the other clusters of politicians. To me, they were a blur as they said the same things, the glorious platform of the Democratic Party.

I could have been leading around the most rabid supporter of George Bush and not known it until it was too late because of the suits, haircuts and powerhouse red ties.

I need to convince one group to sport a Jimmy Buffet-look to keep me straight. Or is it Warren Buffet?

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