In the mid 19th century, on the Eastern seaboard of North America the wave of immigrants was so great that many of the names of the people and the boats they arrived on were never recorded, which is why there is such an inconsistency in the spelling of names and where began the O’Doodle Clan, who, ironically, always fought with the O’Donnells and the Donnellys and everyone else who sprouted from the O’donnghaile clan, claiming supremacy over any and all because they believed they were the beginning of, what they had hoped to be, a long line of O’Doodles.
“The Agitator!” That’s the boat O’Doodles arrived on, someone said. “It had to have been The Agitator!”
There was Jim O’Doodle, Jim O’Doodle, Jim O’Doodle and then there was Michael, better known as Mick.
“Gay?!” shouted Jim O’Doodle, who everyone called Big Jim.“I toldya! See this is what happens when you break the link. We shouldn’t have named him Mick! It’s all your fault!”
“Oh Jim, you’re overreacting?”
“Overreacting?! He’s the last of the O’Doodles? Something needs to be done. And if the doctors refuse to work with me on this, then I have no choice but to take matters into my own hands. Mick! See here. Put these gloves on!”
“Like this?” Mick said, and executing his father’s divine direction, he drove his fist up and caught him under the chin. Heritage experts would pinpoint this as the moment as representing the closet to being the end of the O’Doodle clan.
“The lad’s caught some snap in ‘em!” said one of the men, whose name Mick thought was Paul O’Bear, until he realized there were five others with the same name and realized the moniker was actually their duty.
And that’s when it struck him; sittin’ there next to his big dead dad with all those Paul O’Bears around him, when he realized a name is not a name, but a duty.
“I met someone?” he told his mother a number of years later.
“You met someone?”
“Yes, a girl.”
“Yes, it was just a faze.”
“Yes, a faze.”
“You killed your father because of a faze?”
“So there will be more O’Doodles?”
“Yes, there will be more O’Doodles.”
Born and raised in Prince Edward Island, Darrin M. McCloskey now lives in beautiful Vancouver, BC, where he works P/T at a used bookstore and runs his own small press, Black Ice Press. Darrin has self-published two novellas: Li’l Story: the true story of the rise and fall of the Great Canadian Novel, and Garden of da Gulf. See http://www.blackicepress.ca for more info.