‘…. What the hell kind of a name is Yossarian?’
Lieutenant Scheisskopf had the facts at his fingertips. ‘It’s Yossarian’s name, sir,’ he explained.
‘Read me back the last line.’
‘ “Read me back the last line,” ‘ read back the corporal who could take shorthand.
‘Not my last line, stupid!’ the colonel shouted. ‘Somebody else’s.’
‘ “Read me back the last line,” ‘ read back the corporal.
‘That’s my last line again!’ shrieked the colonel, turning purple with anger.
‘Oh, no, sir,’ corrected the corporal. ‘That’s my last line. I read it to you just a moment ago. Don’t you remember, sir? It was only a moment ago.’
‘Oh, my God! Read me back his last line, stupid. Say, what the hell’s your name, anyway?’
‘Well, you’re next, Popinjay. As soon as his trial ends, your trial begins. Get it?’
‘Yes, sir. What will I be charged with?’
‘Is Popinjay really your name? Just what the hell kind of a name is Popinjay anyway? I don’t like it.’
‘It’s Popinjay’s name, sir,’ Lieutenant Scheisskopf explained.
This is an excerpt from Catch-22 by Joseph Heller.
So, really, What the hell kind of a name is Yossarian?