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!


lulu said...

I've spent time in Grand Rapids MN.

Cap'n Ergo Jinglebollocks said...

ha! My mother's name was Beverly Ann G---. She had free monogramming done on a purse and only realized it said B-A-G when it came in the mail.

Of cousre, her maiden name was Douglas, making her B-A-D if she used her maiden name...

Leonesse said...

I have a good one for you, but it is so unique I worry about being googled for it. Too close for my anonymous comfort. Maybe once we move.

It's a doozy.

SkylersDad said...

I worked with a guy who was named Harold Weiner, and he went by Harry...

Can you imagine?

Mike Hunt said...

No one understands my pain.

GETkristiLOVE said...

There's a guy I work with on the west coast named Harold Weiner. Yes, he goes by Harry. The first thing I said to him when I finally met him in person (after years of working with him over the phone) was, "What were your parents thinking Harry Weiner?!" He calmly said, "That's nothing. My brother's name is Oscar."

GETkristiLOVE said...

OMG, I just read Skydad's comment. I suck.

Anonymous said...

I saw on a show, and I can't remember which one, but the lady's name was "Aquanetta". I'm still laughing!

SkylersDad said...

In case you didn't know, GKL and I used to work together, thus we commented about the same dude!

Mnmom said...

I went to college with a Sue Kinney.
My sister's stupid small town parenting group wanted to name their soccer program the Winneshiek Area Soccer Program, and no one but her saw the humor in the acronym.

Just you wayt, Enry Iggins, just you wayt!

Red said...


Hope it was in the summer!


I have a friend with the initials KEG. Likes her beer, that one.


When you move, you can blog about it!

SD and GkL,

If you hadn't oversold it, I would have bought it. I've heard tell of a "Justin Case", but he may be an urban myth.


I bet they don.


We should spread the word that it's one thing to be drunk when you get pregnant, but it's advisable not to be when you're naming the little darlings.


Oh, that amuses this Catholic girl quite a bit. But WASPs aren't known for their sense of humor.

While writing these comments, I remembered that my sister-in-law married into a very famous name, but she married into it; it's not like her parents chose it.

sfiscus said...

Hey, I live in Cokeville, WY and have for years. I am well acquainted with the boy you are referring to as he was in my sons class. Just FYI his name is spelled Pieper. He is a great kid and takes everything in stride. There is quite a story behind his parents naming him Peter, and yes they knew full well that it would be challenging at times. I don't feel that it is my place to let you in on the story as it is not mine, but I promise his parents are sane and rational and the "salt of the earth" kind of people and so is Peter! His name has made him, not broken him.

Red said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Red said...

sfiscus -

I'm very glad to hear it. I didn't say anything to Peter about his name, so I never heard the story. I liked the West, but things out there are way too far apart for this East
Coast girl. Beautiful country, though.