Saturday, September 09, 2006

jello operator

I was talking to a certain former sociology graduate student who recently started working for a non-profit organization. She said she wished that some of the people she worked with would be able to apply sociological insights to the populations they worked with. And they she said, "They're also the kind of people who believe there are really twins out there named Orangejello and Lemonjello." To which I had to point out that the story of twins named Orangejello and Lemonjello is featured in Freakonomics, where it is attributed to a first-hand sighting by prominent sociologist Doug McAdam, who confirmed to me that he had met a woman in a California grocery store with children she introduced as Orangejello and Lemonjello. (You might wonder if he had been duped by the woman, but I'm not going to be the one to raise that possibility out loud.)

By the way, big news in sociology recently is that Fabio Rojas has been guest blogging over at orgtheory. I'm a Fabio Rojas fan, although the exact magnitude of this fanship--the posters, the bobbleheads--I keep secret. But Fabio's stint raises two important points. First, considering that Fabio is now blogging alongside Omar Lizardo, it's interesting that a blog co-inaugurated by an economist named "Teppo" has managed to score two of the more interestingly named younger sociologists.* Second, it's further evidence for my theory that if all the known and suspected blog authors and readers in sociology got together, they could basically take over the future of the discipline.

* Confession: I keep a list of interesting names I run across in academia so I have character names at hand should I ever drop all this to write a mystery novel--it started one afternoon when I was reading in the survey methodology literature and kept running across references to this guy who surname was "Oldendick"--and "Teppo," "Lizardo," and "Fabio Rojas" are all coincidentally on this list.

Update: I just looked at ancestry.com, and an "Orangejello Castleberry" is listed as having a Mississippi provenance, while a "Lemonjello Snarfblat" is listed as having an Arizona provenance. How common it is to have twins with different last names from different states, I have no idea, but perhaps the ancestry.com hits are not complete records but just the tip of the jelloburg as far as these names are concerned.

11 comments:

A+ said...

Snarfblat?

...Uh.

jeremy said...

Yes, presumably it's fake. (Meanwhile, all the names of contributors at orgtheory are real.)

"teppo" said...

A few years back I plugged my name into google and found a Harvard-type case about a manager in Malaysia named "Teppo Felin" who was dealing with problematic employees. Stunned at the coincidence I found that an ex professor of mine (I was actually his RA in the 90s) had written the case - I of course sent him an email - and he said he had always liked the name and felt like it worked well for the case (the case doesn't seem to pull up in searches anymore).

If you want to use the name in a future novel - you might also consider some of the nifty variants that I have recently been called: Taco, Temple, Tempo (daily), and Tipo.

chuck b. said...

I first heard of Orangejello and Lemonjello ca. 1995 from a good friend who told me he knew a grammar school teacher who had Orangejello and/or Lemonjello as students in Oakland. I believed it then then, but reading about it now, here at this moment, I think it's a preposterous hoax. (I read Freakanomics too, but I don't remember my reaction to it in the book.)

So now I'm going to need to see Lemonjello and Orangejello on thesmokinggun or mythbusters, or maybe some kind of a documentary to make me believe in them again. And I mean a real documentary. Not a fake documentary for comic purposes. And I don't care what Doug McAdam says. Or what you say he says.

*I remember it was my last year of college and I told the story to a (black) roommate who verbalized something I never would have at that point in my life: "Black people name name their kids the weirdest shit." In fact, it was sometime between January and June 1995.

Fabio said...

Thanks for the plug, jeremy! And I will send you a free Fabio Rojas "homies" doll!

Anonymous said...

... and then there are the ladies: Lotta Nickles and Fanny Bumpus (but they're real, so you shouldn't use them).

dorotha said...

wasn't snarfblat the name of a character in one of douglas adams books? you know, the hitchikers guide series? i'm on my way to the public library, maybe i can flip through his books and find out.

Anonymous said...

I look forward to the day you have wherewithal to invent names to suit all your great plots to come.

Anonymous said...

There's a "Harold (Harry) Butts" in the phone book in my hometown. Many adolescents have spent hours dialing that number.

A+ said...

Apparently there was an Eileen Dover that went to my high school, but the story always smelled fishy to me.

Syd Vicious said...

I know this blog is terribly old but this story got brought up today and I did a google search for evidence because no one belived me.

My brother was a coroner in Alameda County CA (the county that Oakland is in) and dog gonnit there WERE twins with these names. My brother picked one of them up one cold night in the coroner van. I CONFIRM LEMONJELLO AND ORANGELLO!