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March 23, 2011

The Time I Stripped for my Girlfriend's Mom ...

... was, unfortunately, not nearly as exciting as that title makes it sound. And therein lies the point of this entire post. Headlines are written in such a way as to grab a potential reader's attention. The headline is the bait, we the readers are the fish. As such, a catchy headline may be the difference between an open-mouthed swallow and a casual nibble.

Naturally an individual's given name plays the role of their personal headline. Normally the more unique the name, the deeper the initial impression is made upon meeting someone. However some parents have gone a bit overboard in their quest to impress, having conjured some truly horrendous names as of late. McMoses, Brick and Scander are examples of how far some moms and dads will go to distinguish their offspring from the Pauls, Marks and Johns of the world. Even the beloved George of Seinfeld lore, who was saddled with a less than appealing name himself, was intent on providing a bizarre uniqueness to his child by calling him (or her) "Seven".

Some wise souls, realizing that one's destiny may derive from their name, changed their title long after their branding. Hence Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr became a concise Snoop Dogg; the un-intimidating Lew Alcindor used religion to become Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; the overly-average James turned into the one and only Jimmer. Who knows how Lance Armstrong's legend could've grown had he changed his appendage to "Legstrong".

Would James Fredette have made back-to-back SI covers?

Indeed, a person's name may be more important than the actual character in question. This would explain why so many persons attempt to add titles to spice up their name. Doctor Bill is no doubt more pleasant sounding than Mister Bill. And Arnold sure would feel better about saying his name if he could introduce himself as Astronaut Arnold. Consider President Hansen versus Spencer Hansen. I know which pairing I would choose.

Those who fail to recognize the appeal of a superb name limit their chances of global fame. I speak of course of the Chilean people.

Chileans love bread. So much so that I'd wager one in thirty families in Chile run a bread selling business from their house. Saldy, not a single one of these businesses recognize the advertising power of a quality name. During a two year stay, I saw the same two words used over and over to advertise the fact that they were selling bread. The words? "Hay pan", which translates to "there is bread". Not once did I see a sign that boasted, "Chile's Best Bread", or "Cheapest Bread Around" or even something as mundane as "Our Bread Tastes Good". Nope. There is bread. And that's all we're going to tell you.

These trend-setters pushed the envelope by including an exclamation point

Someday Chile will reach first-world status. But it won't be until they realize the power of a name.

I bring all this name calling business to light because Nathan and I are in the midst of a major dilemma, as we attempt to find the appropriate label for our newborn podcast. Three weeks of discussion and debate have passed, culminating in today's recording in which we were forced to turn to others for suggestions. Despite our best efforts, the only thing we've managed to agree on is the answer to the long-asked question, "What's in a name?"

Only everything.

As for the strip show for my girlfriend's mom, well, like I said it's not that great of a story. In a moment consisting of poor eyesight and loose morals, I opted to do a sensual shirt removal in front of my second-story window for an approaching young women. As the gap between the girl and I closed, my eyes began to realize for whom I was actually stripping. If the Chileans were to describe this situation, they would simply say there is embarrassment. In this case I would agree.

Needless to say I and her daughter are no longer dating.

1 comment:

  1. This is a very timely post as Landon and I contemplate the naming of a human being. So much pressure when it comes to naming things. You have given me much to think about.
    Also, thank you for stripping for said mother so I could have a good laugh today.