“So this is a Chinese one. Tiki Tiki Timbo No Saw Rembo Pali Pali Gucci Rick Ricky Rimbo. So back then, way, way back in time, back in Chinese time, um, sons were idolized and first borns were the most treasured member of the family. Cause of that they gave them huge long regal names that worshipped them. It would be like, “One that I worship” And so it would be a big long name like, uh, and then, uh, so this woman had two sons. The first one, her firstborn she named Tiki Tiki Timbo No Saw Rembo Pali Pali Gucci Rick Ricky Rimbo. So and then, which means like “One that I adore” or “Most wonderful child in the world” and then she had a second son and she named him Chang, which means like “Second” or “Another” or something– you know, it was a very short name. And she idolized her oldest son and thought he was wonderful and, um, but anyway, the boys loved each other and they would play together and everyday the mother would go down to the river and do her washing and the boys would go and they’d play around her. And there was a well by the river and um, sometimes their mother would let them go up on the hill and let them play, play near the well cause it was a nice view. So they’d play around up there and, um, one time, Chang, got a little too adventurous, and he was lookin’ in the well and he was so small and he, uh, lost his balance, and he tumbled in… and, it was awful. And Tiki Tiki Timbo No Saw Rembo Pali Pali Gucci Rick Ricky Rimbo ran all the way down the hill with his little legs and told his mother that Chang had fallen into the well. And the mother said, “Oh what? What are you saying? Speak up, the water’s so loud down here I can’t hear. So the boy hollers, “Chang fell into the well!!” And his mother goes, “Ohhh, go get the old man with the ladder then. Underneath the tree.” So Tiki Tiki Timbo No Saw Rembo Pali Pali Gucci Rick Ricky Rimbo runs over to the man with the ladder and says, “Ohh my brother has fallen into the well, Chang has fallen into the well! Please come help me with the ladder!!” And the guy says, “Oh I’m comin’ right straight away!” So they get him out, they fish him out of the well and, uh, the old man, like turns him up on his knee and pumps all the water out of him and Chang is kinda choking and gasping for a moment, but he comes back to life, you know, he’s good as new within 20 minutes. He comes back, he’s just fine. Um, so, the boys were very scared of that incident, so many, many months pass before they go up on the hill again. But they got braver and braver and they went up finally, after a long time, and they got a little more braver and braver and more curious and more curious about the well cause Chang had told hi brother about the well and what had happened inside it. And soo, Tiki Tiki Timbo No Saw Rembo Pali Pali Gucci Rick Ricky Rimbo says, “Ooo I wanna poke my head in there.” And Chang says, “Be careful, I wouldn’t do it if I were you.” And well, Tiki Tiki Timbo No Saw Rembo Pali Pali Gucci Rick Ricky Rimbo does it and, um, falls into the well! And Chang, on his little legs runs down the hill as fast as he can to his mom to his mom and says, “Mom, Tiki Tiki Timbo No Saw Rembo Pali Pali Gucci Rick Ricky Rimbo has fallen into the well!!” And he’s practically out of breath after such a long name and running down the hill. And the mom has the water rushing in her ear and can’t hear and says, “What?? What are you saying to me?” And he says it again, he says, “Tiki Tiki Timbo No Saw Rembo Pali Pali Gucci Rick Ricky Rimbo has fallen into the well!!” And she’s like, “What nonsense are you talking!?” Because he’s just like saying it so quick, and so she says, “Slow down! What are you saying!?” So then, the boy is so out of breath he says really slowly, “Tiki Tiki Timbo No Saw Rembo Pali Pali Gucci Rick Ricky Rimbo is in the well!!!” And his mother says, “You should show your older brother more regard than saying his name like that!!” But then she realizes that he’s fallen in the well and she says, “Oh my goodness, run, run right away to the man on the hill with the latter. So the boy, whose exhausted now trying to get his mother to pay attention to him, runs over to the guy whose sleeping under the tree. And so he’s out of breath and can just barely get it out of his mouth and he says, “Sir, Tiki Tiki Timbo No Saw Rembo Pali Pali Gucci Rick Ricky Rimbo has fallen into the well!!” And the old man is sleeping and Chang’s voice isn’t loud, so he’s like, “What? What? What’s in my dream?” And, um, the boy jostles him and says, “Sir, Tiki Tiki Timbo No Saw Rembo Pali Pali Gucci Rick Ricky Rimbo is fallen in the well!! And the guy is like, “What?” And finally Chang shouts, “My brother fell in the well!!!” And the guy says, “Oh my gosh, lemme get my latter!!” And they run up to the well, run up the hill, and the poor kid is like completely out of breath. But they get there and they drag the boy out and they try and try and try to revive him, and they work really hard, and they do revive him, but it is many, many– he is sick for a very long time after that, and um, ever since then, Chinese people have stuck– they have stuck with short, quick, easy names to say.”
This story was told to me by my Aunt Susan. She said she heard it when a teacher told it to her son’s kindergarten class on a day when she was helping out at the school. This was one of my favorite pieces that I collected. I think it’s cool how it’s a long story that has an ending that provides an explanation for a specific aspect of Chinese culture: using short, quick names.