Friday, May 14, 2010

Name Game

There is a lady in our office whose name is Sally and I just want to say right here that I think ‘Sally’ is a great name. You don’t meet many Sally’s these days. If you do, the spelling is usually corrupted to something like ‘Sallye’ or ‘Sallii’ or ‘Hank.’

When it comes to current names, people these days think you have to spell it funny to ‘express your individuality’ or some other new-age hogwash. Just go up to a ‘unique individual’ with a name like Skye or Twitt or Rootfungus and ask them if they would like to sock their parents in the chops with a free range corn on the cob for giving them such an idiotic name, and I bet you they would love to.

Would they prefer a name like Sally or Harold or Fred? Of course they would. Unless they are a girl, in which case Fred wouldn’t work.

In the old days you had your usual suspects. John, David, Betty, Wilma, Fred, Barney and so on. In our family we also had nicknames, including Blob, Huff, Fatboy, Aag and Pooba but we're not going there today mmmkay?

My point, and I think I’m going to get to it eventually, is that there were some really stupid names back then as well.

I was reading a history book the other day, and learned the U.S. Navy gink in charge when Pearl Harbor was attacked was named Husband Kimmel. ‘Husband’!? What kind of person would name their kid Husband? Obviously, persons who would raise a child to park all the big ships in a nice, neat row to be bombed and torpedoed, I guess.

If I can just slander the poor family a little more, I wonder if Husband’s middle name was Duh.
‘Husband Duh Kimmel.’

Duh: “Dad, I’d like to change my name. Kids are making fun of me.”

Dad: “Well, Duh, what would you like to change it to?

Duh: “I’d like to just use my first name – Husband.”

Dad: “Sure, now let’s go line up your rubber ducks in the tub outside while I tell you how much liquor we drank the night you were born….”

So Husband is a dumb name we agree. There are many other old names you just don’t see these days too though, like Jedediah, Marjorie, Milton, Pituitary, Hector, Victor, RCA or Clementine.

The only time you see names like these any more is on the signs of stodgy old law firms like ‘Bedford, Puswad and Clank,’ or ‘Sterling, Typhus, Belch and Percival.’

On the world stage there are some awesome names to poke fun at so long as they don’t send roving death squads our way. For instance, the leader of Bhutan is King Jigme Wangchuk. Isn’t that a great name? “Yo, Jigme! Pass the ball next time instead of using your machine gun to get a first down.”

In Albania, if you weren’t afraid of getting your head lopped off for doing so, you could change President Bouteflika’s name to ‘BootyFlicker’ and have some rollicking good fun at his expense.

Some just plain great names include Prime Minister Tertius Zongo of Burkina Faso (Bikini Fatso), and Fiji’s Interim Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama (which instantly becomes ‘Bananarama’ of course).

I like Prime Minister Manny Mori of Micronesia simply because his name makes him sound like a pretty cool guy – someone you could relate to. “Hey Manny – how’s it goin? Say listen, could you do something about us sinking into the ocean here? It’s this whole climate change thing. Wanna beer?” His name alone makes him an approachable head of state I figure.

I reserve the Best Name in the Whole Wide World, however, for President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria!

Greeting him would sound like he’s departing all the time. Think of how short your state visits would be with a name like that.

Obama, extending hand: "Goodluck?"

Goodluck Jonathan: "Thanks! Bye!"

Sorry Moon Unit, Dweezil, Peachfuzz, Wormhole or whatever. My guy wins. Hands down.

Goodluck Jonathan.

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