Wtf is up with Josh?
Before I was known by my given first name of Phillip, everyone used to call me by my middle name of Josh. I was a nurturing kid who loved looking after my little brother and sister. I loved making people laugh and putting on performances to get attention, and I hated it when I lost. I was bullied, my parents broke up, and I was arrested on multiple occasions. I was also thrown out of high school once, home twice, and spent a total of about 6 months of my teenage years in in-patient drug rehabilitation for what amounted to marijuana abuse. My high school guidance counsellor told my mom not to expect me to amount to much, and one could almost not blame her…. almost.
I found cooking through a diner and it was the perfect place to hide from the real world. I was still going by Josh when I failed a class at cooking school at the CIA and had to pass a practical exam. I also answered to Josh when I was fired from my first five cooking jobs in New York City. Josh had even given up on cooking and was working as a sales clerk in a wine store... Just what the world needed; another sales clerk named Josh. So when Le Cirque had a cooks position open up and they called and asked to speak with Phillip, all Josh could think of to answer was, “Speaking.” Phillip lasted there five years and rose up the ranks to sous chef. So I guess it worked out.
Now I’m not saying it was all because of the name, but if you know both a Josh and a Phillip, I would bet you take Phillip more seriously than you do Josh. Think about it for a second... There is something to be said for the difference in weight between the way the names sound. Josh is the guy you probably prefer doing bongs with, but I bet Phil’s the guy you want next to you in a bar fight. I know I’m downplaying my hard work and resiliency ‘n all, but I honestly don’t think my career would’ve gone where it has without Phillip. Another fun game: try saying Josh Foss three times really fast. Betchya can’t do it without getting tongue tied.
I know… it’s weird… but it’s my theory and I’m sticking to it. Robert Zimmerman isn’t nearly as mythical as Bob Dylan… Reginald Dwight is not quite as eccentric as Elton John… there’s my evidence.
The Josh character may have been laid to rest forever were it not for my daughters, who in an odd and mysterious twist to the plot of life, have always called me ‘Josh’ instead of ‘Dad’. It’s confusing as fuck to almost everyone, but it’s also really funny and cute. So the vulnerable nature of ‘Josh’ is how I approached my goal of unraveling my being while writing this comic. And in the process, I’ve come to realize that it was all the bullshit that Josh went through that made Phillip the chef that I am. It’s just time to air out Josh again. In fact, I’m okay with the rest of my life being labeled, The Revenge of Josh. And Phillip’s just his bodyguard in case I ever need to fight.