September 2019


父 or how I’ve twice led people to Google unexpected things.

One of my friends has started studying Japanese – and after the first lesson, she informed me that the Japanese word for “father” is Chichi.

Which led me to speculate, out loud, “I wonder where Chi Chi LaRue got his nickname.”

“Who is Chi Chi LaRue,” she asked.

“He was a famous golfer when I was a kid,” I answered.

OK – Clearly, I had mixed up Chi Chi LaRue with Chi Chi Rodriguez. One is a famous gay pornographer, the other is a famous golfer.

In my defense, both deal with clubs, balls, and strokes, if you know what I mean. Actually, it now occurs to me that both are interested in putting things in holes, albeit one as few strokes as possible and the other as many as possible. Maximizing strokes will ensure that the best angles are captured on film and put in the product sold to the public (or watched on Pornhub).

However, I was not astute enough to realize my verbal faux pas before my friend googled “Chi Chi LaRue” – thankfully it was not an image search or I might have been physically rebuked for my thoughtless name dropping.

This was not the first time in my life that I’d make this kind of verbal slippage – or, in the case of my other memorable moment, typo.

A decade ago, I was Stateside when one of my colleagues back in Germany emailed me: “Adam, would you be so kind as to buy me a tube of Tom’s of Maine Toothpaste.”

That’s an easy request, but I wrote back, “I would be happy to buy you Tom of Finland toothpaste.”

Seconds later, I got a reply, “Who is Tom of Finland?”

I tried to stop my hetero-friend from googling, but even with the fastest email, it was impossible – for another email quickly followed – “Oh! He created some interesting art.”

Chi-Chi'sBack in the present, the thought of Chi Chi, free associated its way to the Chi-Chi’s Mexican restaurant chain – which I last saw in 2005, when visiting Luxembourg. I was surprised to find out from its Wikipedia page that the company went out of business – in the USA – back in 2004. I’d never noticed that it had completely vanished from the States.

My friend, younger than me, had never even heard of the chain.

1 comment to 父 or how I’ve twice led people to Google unexpected things.