When John met Julie

Names. Strange things.

Take John Doe, for example. We've all heard of him: the dead bloke who gets a suspiciously large amount of bit-part appearances on late-night police dramas and detective series. The silent king of small-hours melodrama. That old proverb - "there's more talent in his big toe than you'll ever have" - never more true. Just as well, too, because often that's all we see of him. Good old John Doe.

Now consider the wit and wisdom of Julie Andrews. "Doe - a deer - a female deer." Sheer poetry, of course, a triumph of straightforward, unpretentious art at its finest. True, too. Any naturalist will tell you that. Quite possibly any naturist, too, but they can hardly be regarded as authorities on the subject.

Compare the two, though, and doubt starts to seep in. Doe? A deer? Not in the late-night police dramas, he isn't. Not in the detective series or the small-hours melodramas. While I'll be the first to admit that he spends much of his acting career obscured by a sheet, I can't seriously entertain the notion that underneath, there lurk four legs and a tail. I proffer his famous Big Toe, jauntily-angled label and all, as compelling evidence.

Nor is our John female. Mysteriously, every character he plays has had a different name in the past. But not one of those names is feminine. Our John is, or was, a card-carrying, red-blooded, hair-on-the-chest genuine male. Just like George Formby.

And so, with these disturbing revelations, we realise that not all is as it seems. No longer can we judge by name alone. And, what's more, further examples abound. Bush and Gore do not get their appearances on television slapped with a "Parental Guidance" label. Britney Spears does not carry long, pointed medieval weaponry. And there are things that bears most definitely do not do in Elijah Woods.

So be careful kids, next time you come across someone's name. Be careful next time the Jehovah's Witnesses come calling. They didn't see him. I did. In a late-night police drama. But that's another story.

What do you think, did we get it right? Comment here...