I don’t think there’s a better indicator of criminal levels of self indulgence and narcissism than baby names. This morning, as I was staggering in a caffeine-less fog to the break room to get my fix, there were a few people standing around discussing the imminent download of a brand new bundle of joy and noise. The soon to be happy father was telling the lady he was speaking with how he was glad to be a man. You know, the stock nonsense all guys say know whenever pregnancy is being discussed.
Before I get into the meat of the issue at hand, I want you to know I’ve already made plans to handle this scenario. I’ve determined if my wife and I every decide to grace society with a little one-two punch of brains and looks, I’m going to pre-record all of these inane phrases on a little voice recorder. When the subject comes up, I will motion with a finger (not that one) for a moment so I can pull out my pre-recorded statements and press play. And blammo, ten solid minutes of cliche, semi-apologetic, self-deprecating things all guys are required to say whenever the subject of pregnancy and birth comes up. I’ll then whisper that they can drop the recorder off in my office when they’re done. I want you to know this now, so you can plan to make your own 10 minute recording full of “Ohhhs”, “Ahhs” and “Uh Huhs”. That way we can both turn them on, leave them in the break room and get back to work.
So anyway, back to the baby talk. After delivering his charming schtick about reproduction and gender differences, they got onto baby names. The exchange when a bit like this. (I’ve changed the names here to protect, well, myself. But not so much that the point is lost. In the off-chance this guy Googles his kids name, I don’t want him to find this, put two and two together and start a Peter Griffin vs. The Giant Chicken fight with me. It just looks like too much effort.)
Lady: So have you decided what to name her yet?
Dadzilla: Well, we’re not going to commit to it for sure until we fill out the forms, but we like Cessna.
Lady: Oh, Cessna. That’s cute.
Dadzilla: Yeah, we were going to go with Emelia, but then we realized that it’s the name of my brother’s ex-wife. So we were walking through an airplane museum, and it just occurred to us.
Lady: Oh yeah, that’d be bad.
Dadzilla: Yeah, it’d make holidays difficult.
Lady: Isn’t Cessna the name of a character on a TV show?
Dadzilla: I think so, but I’ve never seen it. I wonder if it’s a good or bad character? [This last part a bit louder, probably with the intention that I'd overhear it and fill them in on the characters details if I knew them. I didn't.]
Lady: Hmm, I don’t know either.
Dadzilla: Anyway, I like different, creative names. Different is good.
And I left them there. I had work to do, coffee to drink and staples to drive into the skin between my fingers. On the short hike back to quiet bliss of my office, I was thinking, “you stupid bastard, you’re talking about a person’s name, not a new marketing slogan!” It true, some unfortunate girl will be saddled with the name “Cessna” her entire life. She’ll hear no end of witty innuendo about taking a flight in Cessna and kids will call her “Cessna pool”. (These are just the tip of the iceburg, I came up with these in five minutes, and I’m not even going to school with her.) And why? Because you, dadzilla, are a selfish, self-indulgent asshole. Erin, Mary or Sarah isn’t good enough for you, you want people to hear your baby’s name and tell you how very, very clever you are. Your bundle-in-transit isn’t a pet, if you want to call something Cessna, why don’t you get a poodle?
OK, you knew it was coming. Here, in list form, are Brian’s rules of thumb when it comes to naming your little diaper slayer. Hat tip to fellow-Georgian Jeff Foxworthy (or a blatant rip off, you take your pick) of Blue Collar Comedy Tour fame. (Please note, I’m referring to English first names only, I just don’t know that much about baby names around the world to be fully inclusive with my insults. Feel free to use these as applicable in your culture. Your mileage may vary.)
- If you name your baby after a plane or any other mode transportation, you might be an asshole. (This one could be universal.)
- If you give your baby a name that includes punctuation or accent marks, you might be an asshole.
- If you give your baby a name that includes no vowels, you might be an asshole. (Or you just can’t spell, and then you’re probably a Redneck. Seek Foxworthy’s help with this one.)
- If you name your baby after rocks, trees, streams or shrubbery, you are a hippie, and probably an asshole too. (Flowers are excluded, it’s just too late to ban them now.)
- If you give your baby a first name that rhymes with the last name, you are most certainly an asshole.
- If you give your baby three or more middle names, you might be a pompous asshole. (I’ll allow two, otherwise, we’d have to say J.R.R. Tolkien’s parents were assholes. And that’s borderline nerd-sacrilege.)
- If you give your baby a name that’s an insult in any language or dialect that uses your alphabet, you’re probably a lazy asshole. (Seriously, you need to do your homework here. To this day, I guy I know named “Wally” cannot travel to the U.K.)
This has been a public service announcement from your friend at Brian’s Random Thoughts. Brought to you by Citizens Against Stupid Monikers.