The Funny Side by Nury Vittachi – Just call me Big Onions from now on
Whenever my children express a low opinion of their parents, I remind them that author Dallas Clayton named his son Audio Science, actor Jason Lee called his child Pilot Inspektor, singer Frank Zappa called his son Moon Unit — and that I have the legal right to change their names at any time (probably not true).
Worst of all, the singer Sting named his daughter Fuchsia. No, I don’t know what he calls her for short. Yes, I can guess what the other children at school call her for short.
A reader sent me a news report about names. After a mayoral election in Romania had been won for years by a man named Vasile Cepoi, a rival political faction fielded a candidate who they also named Vasile Cepoi — and a third challenger also changed his name to Vasile Cepoi.
In the end, that election earlier this year saw Vasile Cepoi re-elected, Vasile Cepoi pipped to the post, and Vasile Cepoi humiliated by low support.
This gives me an idea. If everyone on Earth changed their name to Vasile Cepoi, we might all start acting like one big family. Cepoi apparently means “big onions” in Romanian, so that’s kind of an ego-booster, right, guys?
That incident reminded me of the boxer George Foreman, who has five sons, all called George. (His daughter’s name is Georgetta.) Important Note: I am NOT implying that Foreman has a ludicrously over-sized ego, because I would never say such a thing about a man who can crush a metal garbage can with one hand, even though it’s clearly true. On a practical basis, it must be hard for George to get the kids to do anything. George: George, I told you to stop that! George: I thought you meant George. George: I’m not doing anything. George: It wasn’t me, it was George. George: Did someone call me? And so on.
That, in turn, reminded me that the planet Uranus was originally called George. The guy who discovered it named it Georgium Sidius which is Latin for “George the Star”. (I am not making this up.) I wish they’d kept the name, which is easier to grasp than the usual names for things in space, such as Corona Borealis, Epsilon, Tau Seti, Majoris, Twinkle and the like.
But going back to massive egos, did you know that all three of Michael Jackson’s children are called Michael, including the girl? It sounds like a made-up story, and there IS a wonderful piece of literature with the same plot: Too Many Daves by Dr Seuss.
Worse than giving all your children the same name is giving your child the same name twice. In a column, I mentioned a real person named Ho Ho, commenting that she had one of the happiest real names ever. Reader Angela Sias responded: “Not if she is a girl.”
I know there’s a famous politician in Afghanistan called Abdullah Abdullah. What if his middle name is also Abdullah?
Years ago, I met a guy in Hong Kong named So So-so. I was tempted to ask him how he was feeling, purely so that I could have the following conversation. Me: “How are you feeling today, So So-so?” So So-so: “So-so.”