You’d think if you had a daft or embarrassing name the last thing that you would want to do is hang it out in public for everyone to see and ridicule.
But as was noted yesterday people just do not seem to find anything wrong with their own surnames, no matter how funny, absurd or otherwise they appear to the rest of us.
Hence people stand for public office quite oblivious to their odd names.
Does it help or hinder them to get elected? Perhaps sometimes it does, after all some of the names would certainly tend to stick a voter’s mind. Perhaps sometimes it doesn’t, if they are stupid enough not to notice their own names, how fit are they for public office in the first place.
At least they’ve given us some entertainment even if they didn’t mean to.
I have witnessed many strange phenomena as I have traveled through life, but one of the most consistent and enduring is to do with something very simple. Peoples’ names.
I’m not talking about the names that parents choose for their offsprings, although some of them particularly in the celebrity world can be quite ridiculous. For example, Nicholas Cage named his son ‘Kal-El’ (wow, super man!); Jason Lee chose ‘Pilot Inspektor’; and Forest Whittaker’s four kids have been lumbered with ‘Ocean’, ‘Sonnet’, ‘True’, and ‘Autumn’. But in the celebrity stakes the fruitcake prize has to go to Frank Zappa who named his unfortunate children ‘Dweezil’, ‘Moon Unit’, ‘Diva Thin Muffin’ and ‘Ahmet’. Arrrggggghhhhh!
Similarly, parents should give some thought to how a Christian or first name will pair with their surname. If your surname is Hunt, for example, you really don’t want to name your son Michael, or if the family name happens to be Head, then Richard should also be avoided.
However, amusing as that made be, those are what you could almost call self-inflicted wounds. What I am really referring to are surnames, the names we don’t get to choose unless of course we go to the extreme of changing them by deed poll.
A slight digression here, but that reminds me of a guy in Britain named Michael Howerd who got so pissed off with his bank when they charged him £20 for a £10 overdraft that he changed his name by deed poll to “Yorkshire Bank plc are Fascist Bastards”, the name the bank had to use on a check repaying the residue of his account.
But getting back to peoples’ surnames, one of the interesting things is that no matter how stupid, crazy, amusing or whatever the surname may be, the people to whom they belong hardly ever seem to find anything wrong with them – otherwise they would change them.
This is getting a bit near the knuckle, and terribly juvenile, but we used to know a family named Kuntz. They were oblivious to the hilarity their name provoked, but the rest of us had great fun. “Who’s that at the door?” someone would ask. “Oh it’s the Kuntz from next door,” would invariably be the answer, followed by much laughter. We were always smiling when they came to visit, I think they thought we were just pleased to see them!
Of course, if you are female and lumbered with a terrible surname there is another easy way out. Get married! Like everything else, a great solution in theory. In practice it doesn’t always work out as the following newspaper announcements prove.