A woman walks into the Liverpool benefits office, trailed by 15 kids. >
‘WOW!’ the social worker exclaims, ‘Are they ALL > yours? ‘Yeah, they are all mine,’ the flustered mother 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, ‘you must be here to sign up. I’ll need all your children’s names.’
‘This one’s my oldest – he is Terry.’
‘OK, and who’s next?’ ‘Well, this one is Terry, too.’
The social worker raises an eyebrow but she continues, one by one, through the oldest four boys, all named Terry.
Next she is introduced to the eldest girl, named Terri. ‘All right,’ says the case worker. ‘I’m seeing a pattern here. Are they ALL named Terri?’
Their mother replied, ‘Well, yes. It makes things easier. When it’s time to get them out of bed and ready for school, I yell, ‘Terry!’ and they all come running.
And when it’s time for dinner, I just yell ‘Terry!’ and they all come running.
And if I need to stop the kid who’s running into the street, I just yell ‘Terry’ and all of them stop.
It’s the best idea I ever had, naming them all ‘Terry’.’
The social worker thinks this over for a moment, then wrinkles her forehead and says tentatively, ‘But what if you just want ONE kid to come, and not the whole lot?’
The mother answers, ‘I call them by their surnames!’