Funny Names: Yorick Van Hottentot

"That's disgusting!"

I have a long list of funny names I made up. Here's the bio on one. It's the first in a series.

Viewed by many in the village of Taciturn-But-Loving as a bit of a simpleton, Yorick Van Hottentot is a kind and generous man-of-leisure. Though prone to depression when left to his own devices, he is game in assisting the children of his village in any mischief they see fit to do, which keeps him occupied for the majority of his days. The other adults in his village find him trustworthy and know that he will keep their children out of harm's way when they ask for his assistance in building a river raft, spying on the magistrate judge or trying to conduct their own running of the bulls (he did not try very hard to help in this instance, which doubtless saved many lives).

When at home, Master Van Hottentot is attended to during the day by the pious old maid Gladys (who bakes him "scones of all sorts! And biscuits!" at teatime) and at night by his man, the wise Everton, who knows quite a bit about gold-diggers, cologne and the price of sugar and tobacco. Everton's previous position was in the navy, but an old man must lay down his arms when he has seen too much sorrow and bloodshed, God bless the queen, but a man must lay down his arms. Even children, even children are not shown pity, etc.

After dark, Master Van Hottentot writes lovely poems, one of which goes:

There is a curling presence under the awning
waning away as a breath, a sweet perfume.

When I think of the distant dawn yawning,
those senses creep towards this splendid room,

Away, away, away you fly!
Away, away from me!

What you lack in class or status,
you distill in grace and piety.

Oh my sweet dear G----s,
Won't you come and make me a tea?

When asked to comment on the poem by a precocious eight-year-old ("what's this bit about a splendid room, Master Van Hottentot? Is that a metaphor for something?") Van Hottentot exclaimed (hand to head) "It's about death, my child! Heed your youth my child! Run away and play in the fields of your virility!" (which was awkward, because it was a girl who asked).  At that point he retired to his gentleman's study with a brandy and a copy of the Bible.

Image of Charles E. Grapewin from wikimedia commons.

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