Thursday, April 2, 2009

Name Shame

I wrote a short story. You know, during my copious spare time between taking care of three kids, discovering the most perfect recipe ever for beef carnitas, and furthering the status of zombinja fans everywhere.

Zombinja equals zombie plus ninja, of course.

The funniest thing is that we all know my problem with titles. Any kind of names, really. But this one came very easily. Almost like the Batson's name. That came easily to us, but then when it came time to name Left and Right, I wanted names that Slayer thought sounded like Little House on the Prairie, and he wanted names that sounded like strippers.

I do not want to have that kind of mental association with my daughters.

At least we're not as bad as celebrities, though. I mean, REALLY. Jason Lee's son is named Pilot Inspektor. That's right, Inspektor with a K, because it's important to distinguish him from all those other Pilot Inspectors out there. His teachers might get confused about which Pilot Inspector is which, but at least now he can be the Pilot-Inspektor-with-a-K.

And then there's Jermaine Jackson's son, Jermajesty. He will never get a date. Why? Because I dare you to find me a decent woman who can lovingly murmur, "Kiss me, Jermajesty," without snarfing.

Seriously. Try it. I'll wait.

I've known a couple of people like this, too. There's one kid who goes to our local McDonalds to play, and his name is Raiden. That's right, as in Mortal Kombat. There was a girl in one of my writer's groups a long time ago who had a son named Raistlin, as in the Dragonlance series.

Why not just tattoo DORK on their foreheads and be done with it? I'm all for fun sci-fi stuff (see the zombinja reference above), but really. Even I know that's going too far, and I'm the kind of person who is already trying to figure out if I can bribe people into dressing up like merpires, werethings, and disposable humans. I need a new blog design.

Oh, and the title? For Want of a Machete.

Le sigh. My normal Wednesday post is below. I tried to set this one up for tomorrow morning, but apparently I don't know what day it is, so it's up early. Whenever you're reading this, pretend that it's Thursday.


Unknown said...

Oh, that sounds like a GREAT title to me! I recently submitted a short story to a magazine with the title of...

Pickaxe: A Love Story.

Fox Lee said...

My parents gave me a "normal" name and I changed it. Leading one to speculate if strangely named children grow up and demand that people call them "Heather" or "Tom." Proof that the universe has a sense of humor!

Kiersten White said...


And I already love the title.

Jamie Eyberg said...

Anything with Machete in it has got to be fun to write.

Anne Spollen said...

My friend went to a graduation about ten years ago and couldn't stop laughing at the valedictorian's name: Ophelia Rass.

She still swears it's true.

At least Ophelia is smart enough to deal with her name.

K.C. Shaw said...

When I worked for the local school system years ago, we had a little girl named She-Ra. Seriously. I used to wonder if she was conceived after a particularly rousing episode of the 80s He-Man spin-off cartoon, or if her mother just hoped that her daughter would embody the ideals of a badly animated sword-wielding heroine who wore slutty leather miniskirts and had 80s hair.

Tiny T said...

In one of my old schools, there was this kid named Sodapop. His mom must have been really craving pop at the time of his birth and she figured no matter where he lived they would understand the reference... Pop (north).. Soda (south) somewhere you ask for a Coke and its like asking for a pop, but I forgot as to where exactly.

Mariah Irvin said...

I would read it, based on the title. It's catchy and scary at the same time.

I think it'd be cool to name kids after characters from literature, because then if anyone recognizes it you can tell their smart. If they can't, then you can laugh in their face.

Sherrie Petersen said...

When I was in junior high and getting braces, a girl came to sit in the chair next to me. The orthodontist looked up and said "And who are you?" She answered, "Ima Pig." Without missing a beat he replied, "I know you're a pig, but what's your name?" She looked like she wanted to cry and he realized that was her name. Of course, I was on laughing gas, so maybe it didn't quite happen that way...

Jameson T. Caine said...

A friend told me about a woman who named her twin sons Orangejello and Lemonjello, pronounced Oar-ON-jell-o and Le-MON-jell-o. What? Angelo was too boring?

Cate Gardner said...

Cool title.

I don't know any strangely named people - I know feel very, very boring. :)

Carrie Harris said...

Beth: Your title reminds me of one of my favorite books-Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story. That book CRACKS me up!

Natalie: But it's the last name that you changed, right? I don't know why, but the whole name change thing is quite intriguing to me.

Kiersten: Thanks for humoring me. No, seriously. Thank you.

Jamie: Maybe I'll write Fun with Machetes next.

Anne: Wow. One of my fellow classmates was John Jacob, leading us to sing that annoying song every five seconds or so, but nothing that bad.

KC: I loved She-ra, but that doesn't mean I would name my child after her. What's next? A pet named Ookla?

Tiny T: You know how crazy I am when it comes to the sodapop, but... uh... pitiful. That's all I've got to say.

Mariah: That's a great idea, but I think your hubby would need to enjoy lit as much as you do. The same kinds of lit, too. Slayer and I both loved Good Omens, so maybe we should have named the twins Agnes and Nutter.

Sherrie: SNARF.

Jameson: Yep. I've heard that one. I've even met twins who supposedly had that name. Now, whether they actually had the name or mom had heard about the urban legend and was pretending, I don't know.

Cate: Yeah, but you're the queen of cool titles, so that more than makes up for it.

Christina Farley said...

HA! But it is Thursday and i'm just late the party. Titles are aweful. Really. They just are.

Kiersten White said...

No--I'm so confused--how is it Thursday again?!?


Fox Lee said...

Reply: I only use "Natalie" for writing. Non-writers call me something else.

It's all very confusing at this point!

Carrie Harris said...

Christina: You know, I agree with you. They ARE. Twenty different kinds of awful. Which is why I keep running title contests, in the hopes that I can absorb title skill by osmosis.

Kiersten: Don't worry. It's just deja vu all over again.

I'm so funny.

Natalie: Well, they call you Goddess, of course. :)

Suzanne Casamento said...

"Jermajesty...ohh kiss me Jermajesty." I'm just going to repeat that. Out loud. All day.

sruble said...

"For Want of a Machete" = great title. Conjures up all sorts of fun images.

If I had children, they'd have regular, boring names, but their nicknames would be cool.

BTW, I tried to read your other post, the regular Wednesday post, but now I have the "evil won't get out of your head" song in my head. Le Sigh.

Lynnette Labelle said...

I like my name, but hate that most people don't spell it correctly. Two n's. Why did my dad insist on that? Grrr... LOL He said because my name is "Lynn" "ett", it should be spelled that way. Can't argue with his logic.

Lynnette Labelle

Ray Veen said...

Carrie, you did know I'd read this post, right? And you were furthermore aware that my children's name are Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Spiderman?

I shall now leave in a huff.

Scillius Maximus said...

At least you weren't unoriginal like George Foreman. Who named all five of his sons George.

Hmm. If we followed the Foreman method, Batson would be Slayer -- we could call him Jr. Now with the girls would the Girls would they be Carrie1 and Carrie2, or CarrieLeft and CarrieRight?

Monica said...

Tiny T. There is a map that shows you where they use "soda" "pop" and "coke" to talk about pop.

yeah, i'm a nerd like that.

Tiny T said...

Monica: That's awesome! Of course, I'm a nerd and had to check it out. I am curious as to what else people use to refer to a carbonated beverage....? I thought Pop or Soda was clear enough.