in which I do *not* thank the Academy

I would like to thank most of the English-speaking world for thoroughly screwing up some damned fine names. This whole baby naming process is much harder after the havoc wreaked by parents, novelists, and serial killers. Thanks for making our list much shorter.

You’re one of the big winners, F. Scott Fitzgerald. Daisy could have been lovely, but you made her a self-involved boor.

You, Marlon Brando, have completely eviscerated Stella for us. Others are brave enough to withstand the bellows, but we’re not.

Thanks a lot, popular culture, for ruining Chester. We daren’t name a molester.

You also did some damage to the grown-up possibilities of Cherry. And Dick (which is not a name we covet, but between the penile and the vice presidential, there might never be another person named Dick ever).

Sesame Street, you’ve killed great early century faves like Kermit and Grover. Not sure how Ernie still survives, but show me a kid named Bert and I’ll name my next child Elmo.

Benedict? Gone. Brutus? Not in a million years. Adolf. Of the radar. Lucifer…hey, now we’re talking!

Arsenic and old babies

Peanut: I’m eating the apple and the seeds.
Me: I wouldn’t eat the seeds if I were you, P.
P: Why?
M: Because they concentrate arsenic, a yucky chemical that can hurt your body. Eating one seed won’t matter, but don’t try to eat them, please.
P: Why?
M: Not good for your body.
P: [pause] Maybe we could name the baby Arsenic.
M: It’s a nice word, isn’t it?
P: Yeah. Can we name the baby that?
M: Probably not, P, because I want to name the baby something nice, not something that will hurt people.
P: Why?
M: Well, when the baby is little, we don’t want people to worry that it might hurt them, and when its big we don’t want people to worry that it might hurt them. Arsenic can hurt you, so nice word but not a great name.
P: Can we name the baby Hitting?
M: That’s a little more direct than arsenic, but no.
P: Why?
M: Nice names, not hurting names.
P: Maybe we could name the baby Pretend Hitting.
M: Maybe.