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Rhymes With Socks 

I don't remember what classes he taught—all I recall is that he was mercilessly mocked

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Back in high school, we had a teacher named Mr. Cox. I don't remember what classes he taught—all I recall is that he was mercilessly mocked behind his back due to his last name. You know how mean and seemingly clever teenagers can be. I was a gentle sort back in those days, so I didn't mock the guy; I simply and painfully laughed along whenever someone called him Wally. At the time, a fellow named Wally Cox was a perfectly nerdy actor and famous Hollywood Squares guest known to nearly everyone.

Hollywood's Wally Cox was a walking caricature with lots of conflicted personas. When our teacher, Mr. Cox, was called Wally, all the kids thought they understood the joke. For some, it was funny because the actor Wally Cox was clever, and clever people could relate to the same joke the dimmer among us fully resented. He was smallish, so little guys could relate at the same time bullies got their jollies off. He was a nerd. Nerds had few friends. I don't remember how the nerdish ones took it. But he was also suspected of being gay, and you know how that would play out in any era. However, he had been married multiple times, so it's suspect if he were actually gay or not. Added to that rumor was the fact that he and the macho-est of macho men, Marlon Brando, were best buddies—Brando was wildly all over the map sexually.

Speaking of sexuality, boys will be stupid, and presumably girls will be, also. So, with a name like Cox, you can well imagine the rest of the nicknames and jokes that befell Mr. Cox. I'd repeat some of them here, but due to our longstanding appreciation for the slightly prudish in our community, I won't sully this family newspaper with such improper names and innuendo. I'll leave that to our natives themselves who this past week were quick to weigh in with their own Cox jokes after our own Gov. Spencer Cox revealed a constituent message to him demanding he change his name to something less sexual and damaging to the soft ears of Utah youth.

The letter writer demanded that Cox change his "foul, dirty and obscene surname" while also stating that "the honorable Republican Party will not stand for it." It's unclear, specifically, what the Republican Party will not stand for. Presumably, it's an invocation to the local, sexually repressed Republican base that is the target market for those never-ending erectile dysfunction commercials that currently own Utah's television broadcasts of late. They also stand for nothing, so to speak.

The letter writer was either one of my old classmates keeping alive a 50-year running gag or a budding smartass who knew the joke would flourish on the internet. If the former, I apologize for Bingham High School alums everywhere. If the latter, I say, "Hat's off!" Our universe could use some levity. I'm especially pleased that Spencer himself let the world in on the matter—he is, after all, more normal than most Utah Republicans.

But there's a clue, too. There are only two persons in all of Utah who use the word "honorable" when referencing the Republican Party—the diminutive Rep. Chris Stewart and the diminutive, smarmy and pudgy Sen. Mike Lee. Neither of them are prone to behave honorably, neither can let a fake crisis of their own creation go unattended and neither has a discernable sense of humor. It would be right up their alleys to mess with the governor because messing up things is what they do.

No matter the origin, I fully doubt it's the first time the governor was on the opposite end of a "Cox" joke so maybe it's his way of putting it in the can. I understand and support him if so, because when you have a last name like my own, well, let's just say there's not an ass joke I haven't heard.

Send comments to john@cityweekly.net.

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About The Author

John Saltas

John Saltas

Bio:
John Saltas is a lamb eating, Bingham Canyon native, City Weekly feller who'd rather be in Greece.

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