Friday, October 03, 2014

The other Robert Wallers

Please excuse the egocentricity of this post, but I'm excited to discover I am listed in the Wikipedia entry 
'PG Wodehouse minor characters'. Well, a character with my name.

I've often wondered why every other Waller I come across seems to be called Robert.

There's obviously the Bridges of Madison County one, but there's also an election expert who emerges every four years or so, a psychiatrist whose emails I occasionally get by mistake, and the Rob Waller Band (which I only discovered by vainly googling myself). And my grandfather.

Fats Waller was an exception, of course. He was Thomas.

When I worked for the Open University in the 1970s, there were three Wallers on the staff, all Roberts. One of them was in the IT department, and as design tools became computerized our interests converged, and I started to be less and less sure whether mail was intended for me or him.