That, Vernon McFeelybuster was told, was his first word. For as long as he could remember, Vernon reacted to anything that inspired strong emotion in him--whether fear, amusement, pleasure, anger, or grave disappointment, by calling out "Hoo!" And even back in pre-K, other kids simply called him "'Hoo' Boy."
"Vernon! Your grade one teacher, Miss Campbell, called me to complain about your calling out "hoo" too often again! Wait'll your father gets home!"
"Hoo!" he gasped, terrifed.
Naturally, when Joe McFeelybuster got home from his job cleaning the muck out of gigantic vats at Milborough Industrial Consolidated, he was in no mood to hear about his disappointment of a son getting called out by that egghead at the school again. As soon as his wife Suzetta told him, he took off his belt for some whuppin'. Some hoity toity parents frowned on such forms of discipline, but Joe reasoned that his dad beat him senseless on a regular basis, and he turned out just fine, thank you very much, except for those occasional blackouts, but occasional blackouts didn't bother him none, and instead helped make him tough as nails.
After the whuppin' was over, Vernon rubbed his sore butt, lay down on his bed tummy-down, and sighed, "hoo."
Every once in a while, Suzetta would try to get Joe to let up on their son, but she was too weak-willed to follow through. So, Vernon's childhood pretty well sucked.
One exception was the summer he was ten years old. Through a special scholarship program, he got to attend the Rustik River Kozy Kamp, where he got to ride horses and learn how to make bannock, just like in his favourite comic strip, "Baloney and Bannock." One time, he and the other kids got so excited when a counselor said, "OK, everyone, ready for your next activity?" He gave out an excited, anticipatory "Hoo!" It turned out that the next activity was writing letters home, something he dreaded. His letter consisted of niceties and filler, but never did he say he was homesick, because he wasn't.
At school, he made friends with a classmate named Gerald Delaney, whose family inexplicably changed its surname to Forsythe sometime during high school. He was never best buds with Gerald, but once they got to middle school, Gerald would sometimes share some primo gossip with him, like when he kissed April Patterson when they were eleven years old! Then next thing anyone knew, Gerald and April were dating, not dating, dating, not dating. It was very off and on. In any event, April wasn't a bad looking girl, but Vernon couldn't understand why she stuck to wearing heavy bangs and a ponytail for so many years, only to switch to a strange propellor bun during high school.
Then there was the time that Gerald and April almost went all the way! According to Gerald, they would have gone all the way, if only April's parents hadn't returned unexpectedly early from a party. Gerald had the best time telling him and the other guys in the locker room how April had sneaked him out the back door and called a cab for him--narrowly escaping discovery. He'd let out a giant "HOOOOO" when Gerald told him, and again when April showed up with the new "age 16" version of her bun. He couldn't understand why April got so upset.
Now in his first year at Milborough College of Arts, Technology, and Tractor Pulling, with a major in tractor pulling, Vernon sometimes regrets that he never befriended April Patterson. Some people have told him that if you want success in Milborough, you'd better befriend a Patterson kid. That way, the Patterson family will invest in your business and ensure a lifetime of riches. When he thinks about his missed opportunities, he lets out a small "hoo" under his breath and hopes his classmates at MCATTP don't start calling him "'Hoo' Boy." Maybe at least they'll call him "'Hoo' Man," instead.
Nope, he was never given a name in the strip--I made that part up. :)