Monday, May 05, 2008
What were his parents thinking?
Answer: They weren't. Just ahead of me on the escalator today, there was a guy running for the train carrying one of those bags that have your initials on them. In block letters, they said "MRS". Michael Richard Sutton? Matthew Robert Savage? Mark Ralph Schmidt? Who knows? What we do know is that this mister was a "MRS", and that's got to have caused him some grief over the years.
It brought to mind a couple of unfortunately named children I worked with the year I toured for a children's theatre company. In Grand Rapids, Minn., (Yes, Minnesota. Don't confuse it with the big city in Michigan. I rarely got to play towns that big.) we had one group of kids from the local community who came to audition for our show, and then we had a dozen or so kids bussed in from the YMCA summer camp. One of the kids from the "Y" was named Henry Higgins. Of course, that immediately brought "'enry 'iggins" of Pygmalion and My Fair Lady (and, while we're on the subject, Waiting for Guffman) fame to mind. The day of the show, though, I happened to meet Henry's mother. She was a large, somewhat unkempt woman who was looking for the box office. "He wants me to see his show," she muttered, seeming rather embarrassed. "Of course he wants you to see his show," I thought to myself. "You're his mother." At least she showed up, I guess. But in that particular case, all his parents were thinking was that "Henry" sounded good with "Higgins"; I guaran-damn-tee you that George Bernard Shaw wasn't a factor in the equation.
More puzzling, though, was a child who was in my show in Cokeville, Wyo. (Yes, Virginia, there is a Wyoming. I turned 25 there.) This boy's name was Peter Piper. As in "picked a peck of pickled peppers." Again, I ask, "What were his parents thinking?!!" I mean, they can read in Wyoming. They have tongue twisters there, wouldn't you think? Yeesh. Poor kid!