Named in the grand tradition of heroes named Jack, my son is quite an extraordinary person.  The Jack Tales are stories of his adventures and mishaps growing up.  All of them are 100% fact.  --Tim Miller--


How Jack Got His Name


Just a little while ago, a guy named Tim and a girl named Joni heard they were going to have a son. Tim generally went unshaven, and his hair looked like a bunch of black springs sprung in every direction. Sometimes he was skinny, sometimes he was fat—depending on what he ate. Joni was a fair lady with snowy skin and green eyes. Her dark hair flowed down to the middle of her back. She always smelled sweet like apple pie. Folks often wondered why Joni put up with Tim. Many called him a rapscallion. Others called him a busybody. Most believed he was a fool.


Anyway...well...this baby boy got to growing real fast. Most minutes, Joni felt him tapping his foot on the inside of her belly, impatient to get out. “That's my son alright,” Tim said. “Can't stop moving—just like me. I think he's dancing.”


“Baby's can't dance,” Joni said.


Tim put his ear to Joni's belly and nodded his head. “He's singing too. I wouldn't be surprised if he had a guitar just like mine in there. He's probably playing the blues.”


Joni rolled her eyes and sighed, but she would've been surprised if she could've seen this little boy picking away inside her belly. The only thing missing was an audience. “Have you thought of a name for him?” Joni asked, patting her belly. The boy took this as a cue to start tapping out a rhythm and playing slide guitar again.


“No,” Tim said. “But he's clearly an extraordinary boy. He'll be born into a tricky, trying and sometimes mean world. Wits will be his greatest weapon. Tricks must be his trade. He needs a legendary name...not like Tim.


See, at this time, just about half the world had the name Tim. The other half was made up of girls named Jennifer—other than Joni, of course. Tim was a boring name. No heroes were named Tim.


In fact, Tim's mom had named him after a guy she felt sorry for on account of the fact he'd been eaten by another fella. The only other Tims Tim had heard of were this guy who played a ukelele and sang really high and a crippled runt named Tiny Tim who Charles Dickens wrote about. “Our son has to have the right name,” Tim said.


Meanwhile, this baby boy, still in his mama's belly, knew where all this was going. He also realized his papa was a bit slow, and Tim needed time to reason things out for himself. Even before this boy's soul had come down from heaven to occupy his body, a little cherub with a rascally smile whispered his name to him. Of course, no one could hear the boy sing his legendary name inside his mama's belly. Folks since early times had already written poems, songs, and stories about his ilk.


So, not knowing the boy already had his moniker, Tim and Joni poured over books of names and fables. They prayed for some name that would help their little boy triumph in a world full of trickery and illusion. They considered Alfred, Windsor, Jambalaya, Gertrude, Mickey, Rocky, Coyote, and Mushroom. Buford, Biff, Maximillion, Vladimir, Spitzer, Santana, Superboy, Walter, and Salivation. Still nothing quite fit.


Just as the boy had put on goggles and flying hat to ready himself for the trip out of his mama's belly, the perfect name dawned on Joni.


“Tim,” she said. “Who tricks giants and all manner of devils?”


“What's that got to do with anything?” Tim asked. “Concentrate on having this boy.”


“No, no,” she said. “Listen here. Remember that guy who ran the Kingdom of Halloween, and that pirate who captained the Black Pearl. He's that little Incredible baby too.”


“Pearls and halloween,” Tim said, scowling. “Nurse she's lost it.”


The nurse just shook her head. All decked out in blue smurf scrubs, she was just waiting to charge Tim and Joni three arms and five legs apiece for delivering the boy.


Joni said, “He's Jill's partner. He's nimble and quick. He's in a box, ready to surprise...”


“Doctor!” Tim said. “My wife's gone batty.”


Just about then, the boy jumped out of his mama's belly and trumpeted his first official word in the outside world: “JACK!” He bellowed. All the windows in the room shattered at the operatic strength of his voice. Tim smiled big at Joni, and said, “Why didn't we think of that?”


Written and copyrighted by Tim Miller