First, I'd like everyone to take note of my new mug shot, as there have been numerous calls from the public, my family and fellow Miner employees for me to make an attempt at being a bit more photogenic. I feel I've failed, but I blame it on the fact that I still have nary a hair ribbon to my name.
Speaking of names, I wonder if anyone can tell me what these crazy, overly fertile celebrities are thinking when it comes to naming their children.
Let's start with my personal all-time favorite, comedian/magician Penn Jillette's daughter Moxie CrimeFighter. Seriously? What career path can this poor creature ever expect to follow? Well, I suppose she might make an excellent police detective, private investigator or, of course, comic book superhero (big growth in that field, I hear).
Then there is the ill-advised John Mellencamp decision to name his son Hud. Now, Paul Newman is my favorite actor on the planet, but I would never consider naming my beloved child after his role as "a ruthless young man who tarnishes everything and everyone he touches," as described by the Internet Movie Database. In fact, nearly all of Newman's characters could be deemed rather ruthless, so maybe ol' Johnny Cougar should have stuck with "Paul," rather than "Hud." (I can't even talk about his other son, Spec Wildhorse.)
Sticking with musicians for now, we have another of my favorite families - the Zappas. Frank Zappa may be one of my most loved bizarre artists, but I think his naming skills were honed during less-than-legal indulgence sessions. He gave us a slew of funky children, including Dweezil (ah, I'd have loved to have that name below mine on my wedding invitations), Ahmet Emuukha Rodan, Moon Unit and Diva Muffin. Diva Muffin?! Can you imagine going into work one day and saying, "Good morning, Diva Muffin. How was your weekend?" I think not.
Next, there are those who insist upon naming all of their children alliteration-style. The best (worst) example of this is "From Dusk Till Dawn" director Robert Rodriguez. He has four sons and a daughter named Rocket, Racer, Rebel, Rogue and Rhiannon. Don't get me wrong, the idea of my child introducing himself as Rogue Whitney makes me sneer in delight. But I think all the other "R" names cancel out the poor kid's cool factor a bit.
Now we move on to those folks who think one crazy name deserves another ... and another. Case in point: musical genius David Bowie made the not-so-genius move of naming his son Duncan Zowie Heywood James. More recently, famous-for-no-reason Nicole Ritchie graced us with Harlow Winter Kate Madden.
I understand that sometimes people fear they will not have a second or third child, and they want to get in all the names they can, but couldn't we have done without a Zowie Bowie anyway? In Ritchie's case, I think she made the right move in what hopefully signals her desire to cease any further spawning. Besides, if I met someone named Winter, her sister would probably be named Summer, and then my head would quite literally explode.
But Bowie and Ritchie are in the minor leagues when it's comes to über-naming babies.
In 2007, a British woman gave her daughter a 185-letter name, including 25 middle names, in an apparent attempt to achieve celeb status. But just try fitting "Autumn Sullivan Corbett Fitzsimmons Jeffries Hart Burns Johnson Willard Dempsey Tunney Schmeling Sharkey Carnera Baer Braddock Louis Charles Walcott Marciano Patterson Johansson Liston Clay Frazier Foreman Brown" on your tax forms this year.
Finally, you've got the downright bizarre: Actress Shannyn Sossamon's Audio Science, for example. I suppose someday he could work for AudioScience, which "designs and manufactures advanced DSP based digital audio peripherals for the OEM, broadcast and entertainment markets," according to its Web site. Sounds like fun, and who better to project the company brand than someone with the same name?
Band U2's The Edge has daughter Blue Angel, but then, he named himself The Edge, so what do you expect? Actor Jason Lee named his son Pilot Inspektor, but I really like Jason Lee, so I'm not going to give him any flak for that.
I can only hope that my future children don't hate me for naming them Jekyll Phlebotomy Codfish Halfmoon Don't-Hassle-the-Hoff Whitney and Fantasticka Flourish Honeybell Dragonfly Don't-Cha-Wish-Your-Daughter-Was-Hot-Like-Me Whitney.