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Saturday, August 29, 2015

What To And NOT To Name The Baby

It is a fact of modern life that each generation names its babies according to trends. First noticed it in the 1960s when toddlers were introduced as Cloud and Tree. Not so bad. Then, in the '70s, I saw babies with t-shirts that read "Little Monster" across the chest --seemed unkind, but a name's a name. There's no consistency to this trend. In the '80s and '90s I could walk into a crowded room, call a trendy name and everybody under 20 would turn around and say "What?"

Now it is 2015 and I see titles identical to the one over this essay trying to standardize the practice. They appear on news sites and doubtless offer good counsel, but it is not enough. By the principle of nomenclature, we must consider the future into which children carry these burdens...and then what of their  children? Oh, it's too much. I must retire to the Pumphouse and meditate. Excuse me.

Pumphouse offered numerous suggestions for future trendy names. So far I favor this one:
It has some dignity to it and echoes a great love story --even though I believe the picture is not of Queen Victoria's beloved Albert. But Albert is a fine name and should be considered by all future parents. Some were less romantic...
WD could be a ready-made name for a corporate head. Questions? Run them past good old WD, the only administrator who gives you a straight answer, takes responsibility and sticks to sound principles! And yet, and yet...one wonders what happened to the other 39 WDs. There's rumors running 'round the company you know. About what?

Why, about WD's cohorts and toadies like...
WD sends Gunk after blockages in the system and, next day, they're gone. Production doesn't always increase but management smiles and winks a lot. It's scary. Don't name your kid WD or Gunk!

Pumphouse then suggested...

But Roach Bait has been pretty much out of work since pot got at least partially legalized and would be a poor name choice. However, Max Attrax strikes me as ready-made for a modeling career.

Rid-X is Pumphouse's second-to-last suggestion, one I consider a stretch of speculative futurity. Say, someday we are invaded and overrun by some unknown interplanetary mischief called X --by scientists, astronomers and algebra teachers. A dual enzyme action hero arises, Rid-X! --scourge of chunks plugging the substrates of our world's systems. It could happen...and if some forward-thinking parents name their kid Rid-X, the future is at least half saved already. But I'm most impressed by Pumphouse's closing recommendation:
This is a device I've only replaced three times in the past 35 years. It attaches to the holding tank and to the 220volt line that dives far into the planet to actuate our submersible pump. When the tank achieves a pressure of 45 psi, it shuts everything off. When pressure falls to 20 psi, it turns everything on again. It is one of the most reliable devices on earth. I rank it right up with my Saint Jude Cardiac Pacemaker, which also must be replaced every ten years. So, pursuant to my Pumphouse meditations, I would encourage young parents to name their kids Square D --or Saint Jude.

Ok, maybe Albert.

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Note: All the fine products in this scholarly essay were trotted out and photoed by my webcam. No disparagement is intended. They are kept on reserve in our pumphouse because they actually work and often exceed the promises of their advertisements.


20 comments:

  1. Old telephone joke. Call up a store and ask "Do you have Prince Albert in a can?"

    "Yes, we do."

    "Well, let him out. He can't breathe!"

    Okay, I didn't think it was funny back then - and I still don't think it's funny.

    When I was a youngster in school all the kids were named Bill and Linda. Later on everybody was named Shane and Crystal. Since little imagination ever seems to accompany naming children, I heartily endorse the utilization of products. WD-40 and Gunk are wonderful. I'm not sure about Preparation H or Ben Gay.

    How about Prid - the "drawing salve" ?
    Okay, nobody has ever head of Prid but me. I've used it and it works. They still sell it at some pharmacies.

    This is a fun post, Geo.

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    1. How about Albert Prid? He would be a well-known historian, technical adviser for the film "Ben Gay", a chariot-racing physician.

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  2. Rid-X and Square D are no doubt next generation DJ's or leaders of a musical group.
    Our eldest is expecting her first and they are doing the name game now. Old is new though she passed on my maternal grandmother's name Osma Kezia.

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    1. I think Osma is a lovely name, Tom. Reminds me of "Ozma of Oz", a favorite L. F. Baum book when I was a kid.

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  3. As a person with an unusual name I understand what you are saying. I used to wish I had almost any other name. Over the years I have heard many unusual names. Some are very pretty. Some are much worse than mine. I now understand that a name is simply something that people can call me and I will know they are speaking to me.

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    1. I'm confident an Emma by any other name would be as pleasant to speak with.

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  4. In a bizarre future, one might have problems trying to buy something in a hardware shop, crowded with people the likes of which you have mentioned by name.

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    1. Quite true. Hardware stores and I can only hope parents will name their children from sources other than my pumphouse.

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  5. In front of me is a box of Diamond matches. This reminds me of my younger brother's story of being on the NYC subway. A little toddler walked up and stared at him. From nowhere a voice yells, "Diamond Ring, you get away from that white man!" Ah, New York.
    Wonderful post.
    x

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    1. Thanks Austan. Great story! Voices from nowhere sometimes give hilarious advice.

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  6. Jon beat me to the Prince Albert joke--that must have driven merchants crazy and hating the telephone... Of course, that was back in the good old days before caller ID

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    1. I recall another one from that innocent era, Sage. It began, "Hello, is your refrigerator running?" It's really wonderful that people have always got silly.

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    2. Actually, I heard the Prince Albert joke and the refrigerator joke from my maternal grandmother when I was a child. The neighborhood kids used to call her with these annoying funnies.
      Life was more interesting before caller ID......

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    3. Oh Jon, such wicked fun kids had back then! I fear they're being more than paid back by the exponential increase in telemarketer calls. Do we always have one toe in hell?

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  7. Geo., you missed a gold mine with this one. You could have made your fortune touting those products! Maybe it's not too late; give their manufacturers a call and for heaven's sake enlarge the font on your "Note" immediately!

    I had an uncle Albert and I can attest he was a wonderful person. You're bang on with that advice :)

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    1. Capital idea, Jenny! However, I have always gained in peace of mind by using these products and must, in good conscience, refrain from capitalizing further. I too had a (great-)Uncle Albert and must concur, the name is justifiably honored.

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  8. When our oldest was still a bun in the oven we had discussions about her/his name (pre ultrasound). I was partial to the name Victoria if a girl, alas Cary knew that my high school sweetheart had that name. She countered with Plantagenet. We settled for Anne, who promptly dropped that in favor of Kate when she started high school.

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    1. Plantagenet. Interesting, patronymic of the Angevins until the Tudors --who were replaced by Four-doors as families got more mobile. In my experience, however, two of the three most sensible people I've ever known were named Anne and Kate.

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  9. I don't like trendy names, but I don't appreciate ones that are so unique they will be a burden to the bearer. I tend to go with classic names. That's what works for me but I know everyone is different. I wouldn't be surprised if I did meet a Max Attaxs some day.

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    1. We're in agreement. My own kids got traditional names that sounded calm.

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