the belleville connection; or, how i learned i was stupid overnight

Last night, I decided to embark on a journey. I was bored, and was searching for my name and my brother Russ’s name though Google, just to see if we were popular (we are, totally). Then I thought to search for my other brother, Matt, to see if he was popular. Well, he’s not so much, but I did get a lot of hits for another Matt Belville, who apparently was an ADR Mixer for the movie “She’s All That.” I don’t know what an ADR Mixer does, but it did alert me to one startling fact: there are other people in this country with the same name as my brother!

I’ve known for a while that there were other Josh Belville’s around (I even spoke to one on IM once), but Matt? No way, surely not. There was only one Matt Belville, and he was my brother!

As I thought of this, a second thought popped into my head. I was reminded of those silly Facebook groups where people invite other people with the same name, i.e. “It’s the John Smith Club!” and only John Smiths can get in.

And naturally the two thoughts mushed themselves together and I thought, “I should start a Belville club!”

And so I did.

Step one was easy. Just create the club. I made it so that only people I invite can join, which means I control the influx of Belvilles. Oh, and this also includes Bellevilles, Bellvilles, Belveal, etc etc. Belleville is the “official” spelling (if you can say that), and most others are bastardizations. I made that clear in the club.

Step two was make Belvilles my friends. So I friend requested roughly two hundred people last night (that might be an exaggeration…). First every Belville I could find, and then the first ten pages of Bellevilles. This is where I saw my first problem: the language barrier.

Most Bellevilles live in France. They speak French. Some also speak English, which makes me feel stupid, cause I don’t speak French. Stupid public school system. But I figured if this was going to be an all-encompassing group, then every Bel(le)ville should be invited. Even those who speak a language I barely understand.

So that was last night. Today I have 30+ Bel(le)ville friends, and about ten people in the group. I also have two people who might become translators, and one woman (Nathalie) who tried to speak to me in French on Facebook. I had to say “Je ne parle pas Francais” (I don’t speak French, got that from Google). It was kind of awkward. More so for me than for her, cause she replied with “Moi parle pas Anglais” (I speak English) and I felt stupid again. Almost everyone in France speaks a little bit of English. Would it kill us Americans to learn a bit of French? Or Spanish, more to the point. We should all know a bit of Spanish.

Anyway, I’ve been using Google Translate a lot.

This is going to be a very interesting experiment. After I get a lot of Bel(le)ville’s to join, my next step is to get everyone to talk a bit about themselves, because eventually I want to genealogize the whole thing, with the grand goal of finding our common ancestor. ooooh aaaah

But that’s a bit in the future.

2 thoughts on “the belleville connection; or, how i learned i was stupid overnight

  1. This is a great idea Josh. You kick ass. And, so you feel slightly less stupid, Google’s translation was a smidge off. In “Je parle pas Anglais”, the “pas” is a negator – so she was saying she doesn’t speak English. Otherwise, she probably would have replied in English, and not just used French to be an ass.

  2. I don’t think that was Google’s fault, actually. I think I just assumed she spoke English, because I’m belligerent like that. That would explain why she didn’t respond when I asked her a question.

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