Remember the town that BioGirl and I populated? Wow, that sounds like she and I are spawning or something. Let me re-phrase. Remember those two posts I wrote a long while ago about the imaginary town that we have created where we have characters whose names are sayings or phrases? Like Dot Matrix, the owner of the local print shop? Or Jen Teal, the charm school teacher?
Our town has been on a bit of a hiatus lately, ever since we created a sister-town based on an entirely different rubric. It all started with the fact that she and I have a nickname for each other. “Peeble.” I won’t get into how this nickname began, but just know that I call her Peeble and she calls me Peeble. We also call other folks our peeble, if they are a good sort of person. I guess you could say that the literal translation of peeble has come to be something along the lines of a mensch. If you’re a good sort, then you’re part of the peeble population. At any rate, that’s what we call each other. And I don’t know what it says about us that we have the same nickname. Perhaps it shows a distinct inability to differentiate ourselves one from the other. Come to think of it, another friend-who-is-like-family of mine, Neighbor J, and I also have the same nickname for each other. We call each other Neighbor. The more I think about it the more I realize that this is a weird pattern in my life.
But I digress. BioGirl and I started making up characters based on our nickname for each other. I think it started with emails that we would write to each other. Instead of signing our names, we would just sign them “peeble.” Then we started to get creative with this. Writing an email about baking cookies later? Sign it the Peebler Elf. Talking about taking a leadership role at work? Sign it Captain Jean-Luc Peeblard. Talking about doing a painting this weekend? Sign it Peeblo Picasso. How about if you’re feeling cheesily melancholy? Peeblo Bryson, of course. We have a million of them.
Simultaneous to this, BioGirl and I had discovered an eyeglass frame store in Seattle called Mr. Peepers. We thought this was a slightly dirty name for an eyeglass store, and we used to joke that it was a front for a mob-run strip club or something. And although Mr. Peepers is not exactly a peeble-name, we sort of conflated him into our peeble-mania.
It wasn’t long before we decided that all the Peebles needed to have a town of their own. And because he was a little different than the rest of the Peebles, we deemed Mr. Peepers the founder of the town. Well, him and his brother, Dr. Pepper. Pepper and Peepers forged a sort of colony for the Peebles (in order to follow their new age spiritual leader, Peeblak Chopra).
Alas, just as we started to populate this new colony, BioGirl and I ran into an impasse. She decided that she didn’t want Mr. Peepers to be too dirty, because it would corrupt the innocence of the rest of the Peebles. If a peeble is a mensch, then how could Mr. Peepers be an old dirty bastard? I on the other hand, maintained that with a name like Mr. Peepers he had to be a nasty old coot and there was no getting around that. We never came to a conclusion on this, and our second attempt at town-creation had to be left undone. It’s like the boom and bust in the construction market, with our second town abandoned in the middle of the process.
And yes, weird. That goes without saying.
But now, I think we need to get back to doing what we do. Forget the health care debate, forget Seattle’s mayoral race, forget the presidential race in Iraq. I want to know: do you vote that Mr. Peepers be a nasty effer? Or do you vote for a kinder, gentler Peeper? Or do you see a way for us to compromise on this point?
We need your help, peebles.