Dynamic Duos

I was listening to the Beatles today and I remembered that since I was a kid I always wondered about Rose and Valerie. If you are a hardcore Beatles fan, you probably have wondered that as well.

As humans, we seem to have a fondness for naming anything that comes in twos. I remember as a child being fascinated by the goldfish in the TV show The Courtship of Eddie’s Father. Eddie named them Chet and David, and every night he would say “Goodnight Chet. Goodnight David.”

I thought that was a very cool move, and it made me feel very sophisticated as a child, because it was a very meta moment of one TV show slyly calling out to another. Some of you probably know the reference.

I have friends with two dogs, a boy dog and a girl dog. They named the boy Simba and the girl Nala. It’s great for me, because I have no problem remembering the names of their dogs.

I also have colleagues in Columbia University who do research with cuttlefish. There was one pair of cuttlefish they hoped to mate. They called them Becks and Posh.

Alas, the love story turned out to be a tragedy. Cuttlefish are very territorial, and when my colleagues finally put the two creatures together, it turned out Becks and Posh were both male. Becks promptly killed Posh.

Fortunately for Eddie, goldfish are more peaceable. Come to think of it, we have no way of knowing whether Chet and David were both boy goldfish.

Then again, it doesn’t really matter. Eddie was cool.

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