We've all heard a story of someone with a ridiculous name.
Sometimes it's because a person has chosen to rename himself, mostly for the attention. The NFL player Chad Ochocinco -- Spanish for his jersey number -- immediately jumps to mind. Some also do it to make a statement: Christopher Garnett renamed himself KentuckyFriedCruelty.com to protest the mistreatment of animals.
Then there are the parents who apparently need attention so desperately that they use their baby's name to garner it for themselves. This tends to happen frequently in Hollywood, i.e., Gwyneth Paltrow's daughter Apple, Rachel Griffith's son Banjo and Jason Lee's son Pilot Inspektor.
Some parents combine the attention-seeking with protest. A Swedish couple, angered by a law that allowed the government to reject certain names, named their baby Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116. (How'd you like to sign that on your checks?)
I'm not sure how they arrived at the particular combination. Maybe they let their cat walk on the keyboard. However they did it, I thought the 6 at the end was a nice touch.
Speaking of such laws, New Zealand is another country that has deemed it important to protect the future self-esteem of children unlucky enough to be born of idiots. And it recently updated its list of banned baby names.
Now you know me -- when I hear the words government and banned in the same sentence I get all shaky inside and start looking for my blood pressure medicine. But then I read the list, and it's one of those things where you think, you know, the government shouldn't have to get involved in such things, but apparently it does. Because people are that stupid.
Here is just a small selection of the names on the list, and keep in mind these are actual names New Zealand has had to reject because someone submitted them for their baby.
-- Princess (I went to high school with a girl named Princess.)
-- Mafia No Fear
Yes, that last one is a period. I presume they would call her Dot.
Several were also rejected for wanting to put names in brackets, and quite a few wanted to use backslashes.
Ah, the Computer Age.
I guess the days of having a Henry, a George or a Jane are over. Nowadays it's Hankified, Gadzooks! and JinketyJam. Because never mind giving a name that honors a family member or projects strength or sensibility. What's important here is drawing as much attention as possible.
Which brings me to my favorite one of all time. In 2011, Wisconsin's Jeffrey Drew Wilschke changed his name to Beezow Doo-Doo Zopittybop-Bop-Bop. His unusual moniker came to light when he was arrested. The charge goes by an all-too-familiar -- and perhaps explanatory -- name.
Email Nate McCullough at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears on Fridays. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/natemccullough.