The Polkaroo and I are connected. A few years ago I had subletted a flat in Guelph for the summer; four bedroom apartment all to myself. (Un)fortunately one month in the renters found more subletters to fill the rest of the rooms. One guy had already settled in when two girls started moving their own furniture and belongings into the place. It happened to be a crunch time week at work so I was around the apartment intermittently. During three different moving trips, they got to the place just after I had left the place. The mystery of my actual existence would be confronted via the question, “we missed him again?”
Hence I earned the moniker of the Polkaroo. It’s a reference to the 80s Canadian kid’s show Polka Dot Door, where a whack looking costumed characters comes on screen for minutes at a time only repeating the line, “polkaroo” over and over. The show’s host is off-screen at the same time and the Polkaroo always leaves before the host returns. However, I had no clue what my new roomies were talking about since I grew up in Nova Scotia and this show aired on TVO, an Ontario-only channel. I’ve come to accept my fate. The above photo is my birthday cake they made in summer 2008, decorated by the polka dot door. (Although the enjoyment of its sugar goodness was thwarted when we got locked out of our apartment after my birthday dinner due to the cheaply-made doorknob suddenly becoming the kryptonite to our keys’ Superman. Richmond Property Ltd’s handling of the situation was also so messed up that we ended up staying in a hotel room that night with no comp. Stay away from pseudo-student housing.)
This nickname managed to stick for the whole summer, spreading to their friends I met along the way. So there’s about a dozen people out there that call me Polkaroo. I’m not sure if that’s better than more than 50 people in Toronto using my middle name (that they believe is my first) since I was introduced to my footy team as such by my current housemate that declared he didn’t like “Derek”.
Somehow the no longer airing show is all over social networking web sites, including Polkaroo on Tumblr, where they’re running a contest for free t-shirts to promote the brand. I don’t know if I could bring myself to wear one in public, but I rep Threadless the odd time which isn’t far off on the cred scale.