Is it because I have dreadlocks? No.

Am I prone to screaming “Whoopee!” when I get excited? No.

A decade ago I was working with the same core group of teammates at Spruce Technologies, a DVD authoring software developer. I worked for the “Convergence Services” division, where we made things like DVD-on-CD and Internet-Connected DVDs. We worked directly with studios and artists to produce and format their content. On occasion we even filmed and recorded the content for them as part of the process. Those were the days! One particular artist (we called him Ice), an AWESOME guitarist and producer and musical director (for Top-10 artists by the way), who was our gateway to most of the talent that came our way, noticed that whenever something was broken or just not working right, the team always called me. I guess he’d been watching cartoons that morning because he called me Whoopee. We all looked at each other and wondered why, so he explained. “You remember on the Tennessee Tuxedo Show, how Tennessee and Chumley always went to the professor for solutions to tough problems? That professor’s name was Phineas J. Whoopee, and he was known to Tennessee and Chumley as “The man with all the answers.”


I’m flattered of course, but I realize the reference may also come from the appearance of my cluttered cubicle, not unlike the pile of junk from which Mr. Whoopee always fished out his 3D Blackboard to illustrate one of his many answers.