A Jamaican woman walks into the Halfway Tree social welfare office, trailed by 15 kids.
‘Rahtid,’ the social worker exclaims, ‘are all of dem yours?’
‘Yep, dem is all mine,’ the flustered momma sighs, having heard that question a thousand times before.
She says, ‘sit down terry.’ all the children rush to find seats.
‘Well,’ says the social worker, ‘then you must be here to sign up. I’ll need all your children’s names.’
”Well, to keep it simple, the boys are all named terry and the girls are all named terri.”
In disbelief, the case worker says, ‘are you serious? They’re all named terry?’
Their mother replied, ‘well, yes – it mek it easier. When it’s time to get them out of bed and ready for school , mi bawl out, terry! An’ when it’s time fi dinner, mi jus bawl out terry! An all ah dem come running. An ef mi need fi stop the pickney dem fram running into de street, mi jus bawl out Terry an all ah dem stop. Is de bess idea mi ever had, naming all a dem Terry.’
The social worker thinks this over for a bit, then wrinkles her forehead and says tentatively, ‘but what if you just want one of them to come, and not the rest of them?’
“Den mi call den by dem last names”