What’s In A Name?

1 Dec
Screenshot of Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed in ...

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To celebrate the 1st of December, I watched It’s A Wonderful Life again last night.  It’s a wonderful film and the ending still chokes me up; I love it. 

For the first time, I noticed something about the names in the film, one of those tricks of the brain.  There’s nothing scientific about this; it’s just a bit of fun.

  • The cop is called Bert and the cab driver is Ernie.  Bert & Ernie are Muppets who live on Sesame Street.
  • Ernie’s full name is Ernie Bishop.  Ernie Bishop was a character on Coronation Street.  He was gunned down.  It’s the first television murder I remember seeing (they say you never forget your first) (actually, they don’t say that; I just put it in to be funny) (did it work?).
  • There is a bar called Martini’s.  Martini is a drink served in a bar.
  • The young brothers are called George and Harry Bailey.  My Dad’s name was George Harry.  Sadly, his surname wasn’t Bailey.  I did know a Julie Bailey once, if that helps; and there’s a Doctor Bailey on Grey’s Anatomy.  I feel like I know her*.
  • The uncle is William Bailey, or Uncle Billy.  Bill Bailey.  I feel a song coming on.  Sung by a long-haired British comedian, a trilogy by Catherine Cookson, and a scene from The West Wing when the character Will Bailey is hazed by the staff.
  • The villian, Potter, is told he will have a Potter’s field somedayPotter’s Field is associated with the death of Judas Iscariot.
  • Potter’s full name is Henry F. Potter.  ‘Harry’ is a nickname for ‘Henry’ so he is the first fictional Harry Potter.  The latest Harry Potter film is out and I haven’t seen it yet and that puts me in a very bad mood so the first Harry Potter and I have something in common.


This was taken last year; it was thicker than that last night

Last night we finally had a taste of what the country’s been moaning about.  After the film I looked out of the window and the snow was falling thick and fast, like the million clichés in this blog.  It lay untouched on the ground, so I grabbed the Hub and the dogs – having first thrown my long winter coat over my long winter dressing gown, my long winter pyjamas, my long winter socks and my long winter long johns – and we went for an almost-midnight walk.  I adore walking in night snow; it’s magical and muffled and a delicate orange**.


I had been stumped for my final poem for the Poetic Asides Poem A Day Challenge until then: write a lessons learned poem.  I’ll leave you to decide if this is based on bitter experience or imagination.


A Hard-Earned Lesson

Eat yellow
snow at
your peril





*Sad, isn’t it?

**Sad, aren’t I?


There is a new poem on my South Africa blog.

9 Responses to “What’s In A Name?”

  1. Musings December 1, 2010 at 10:37 #

    Wow! You were really paying attention to that movie. I feel like I’ve seen the movie so many times that I don’t have to pay attention with my whole brain. Next time, I will because you really came up with interesting stuff!


    • Tilly Bud December 1, 2010 at 11:39 #

      Do you know, I’ve seen it a hundred times and something new always strikes me, each time I watch it.


  2. vivinfrance December 1, 2010 at 10:55 #

    Loved the film commentary. And the strangely garbed walkers. The poem is not new – every time Ray Mears comes on telly, Jock makes that point – but you put it so well!

    It’s my birthday – snowing hard and -3 degrees C. We should be going out for a Chinese meal tonight with friends, but one has already cried off, having had the 15 minute journey take two hours yesterday. Jock’s just gone to see if he can get up our hill (if you can get up that, you can get up anything) failing which one of the friends has a big 4 x 4 Volvo. So keep your fingers crossed.


    • Tilly Bud December 1, 2010 at 11:38 #

      Happy Birthday!!! I hope you can get out to celebrate, but maybe it would be wiser not to.

      Re the poem – I don’t watch Ray mears but the Hub is always saying it, quoting Mike Harding from the Seventies/Eighties. He never phrased it like this so is it plagiarism to write about the idea? I don’t think so, otherwise there would only be one poem about love, wouldn’t there? What do you think?


  3. fryupress December 1, 2010 at 14:09 #

    Found this fascinating. Will continue to keep in touch. Am learning my way around, just!


  4. slpmartin December 1, 2010 at 18:27 #

    Never made all those connections with that film before although I’ve watched almost every Christmas as part of a family tradition….thanks!


  5. flo December 1, 2010 at 21:19 #

    And did you know that the young George Baily and Zuzu are in The Bishop’s Wife? Two fantastic films. Might watch them tomorrow if our school closes. We must be the only school in Cumbria that’s still open. The snow up here is putting your softy Manchester snow to shame! All the staff and kids are walking round with coughs and colds, but our Head believes in making sure our kids have a school to go to, so tomorrow I will probably have a class of 3! Ugh.
    Loved your poem about the wasted lives. Perfect really.


I welcome your comments but be warned: I'm menopausal and as likely to snarl as smile. Wine or Maltesers are an acceptable bribe; or a compliment about my youthful looks and cheery disposition will do in a pinch.

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