Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Makin' Bacon and Namesakin'

Dear Friends, 

The Hard Taco song for May is called, "Girls are So Neat." Whether you agree with this assertion or not, I suggest you listen to the song so that you can assail me with the sort of dangerously honest feedback that burns as it heals.

Due to my role as inventor of the world’s trendiest band name, I often get asked, Hard Taco, what should I name my baby? Somehow, I inferred that by “baby” these people were referring to a Jewish Synth-Pop band they were forming. By time we smoothed out that miscommunication, there were dozens of children in my town named Shabbatica! 
When it comes to real human baby names, it’s simply a matter of asking yourself three fundamental questions.

Question 1. What year is it?
Question 2. Do I want to raise my child to be a bluesman? 
Question 3. Do I want to give my child a traditional Inuit name?


Question 1. What year is it?

A. 1915-1930
If it’s the Roaring Late Teens-Through-Twenties, you need to use the "fork-in-the-living-room method." In this model, the expectant mother blindfolds herself, spins around until she is dizzy, and hurls a fork as hard as she can. Whatever the fork sticks into becomes the baby's namesake. For instance, if the fork punctures the couch, the child should be Sophie. If it sticks into the plaster, the young lad should be called Wally. If it ricochets off the door jamb and falls idly onto the ground, the newborn will be christened Doris Florence. If the father-to-be gets excited and runs into the room to see what’s happening, you may very well end up calling the kid Junior. 

B. 1960-1971 
Welcome to parenthood, you beautiful earth mothers, you! To name your child, I recommend the "doobie-in-the-yard-method." Simply close your eyes and throw your beloved spleef out the living room window.  Then skip outside in slow motion while tossing your enormous hair around and see where it landed. Using this model, you will find the inspiration for far out names like Little Flower,Dreamy Seagull, Fern-Or-Maybe-Ivy, and occasionally Lost Doobie. 

C. 1995-2007
Are you “in the know”? If not, you may not be aware that everyone born in the last ten years is named after a large urban center. In fact, Babies 'R' Us has started stocking U.S. road atlases instead of baby name books.  Naming your newborn after a city has the same general effect as printing "the arrogant jackass of tomorrow" on their 6-9 month onesie. If you really want your child to be a condescending little prig, you need to look for inspiration as far below the Mason Dixon line as possible. By way of example, Charlotte and Alexandria are moderately conceited names, but Jackson, Savannah, Austin, Dallas, Galviston and Corpus Christi are downright cheeky. If you insist on using a Yankee name, I would avoid Madison, which has become trite, and go with St. Paul. 

D. 2050-3000
In the near future, parents will use the "phaeton-blaster-into-deep-space method." Expectant couples will jettison a Volkswagon Phaeton into the cosmos, tracking its trajectory using tiny computers and long division. They may have to wait thousands of years for the vehicle to crash into another astral body, but when it does, their children will get ass-kicking names likeSupernova, Globular Cluster, Oort Cloud and, if they're lucky, White Dwarf. 


Question 2. Do I want to raise my child to be a bluesman? 

If the answer is yes, you are in luck, because naming your child is as easy as opening up the dictionary and choosing a random entry. Unfortunately, this method only works if your last name is Johnson. For example, Ladybug Johnson, Hatchback Johnson, and Manslaughter Johnson would all connote busking prowess. If you insert the prefix "blind" before any of these, your child’s stock as a bluesman will increase logarithmically (inversely proportional to his or her stock as a marksman.) 


Question 3. Do I want my child to have a traditional Inuit name? 

There’s an old legend that Eskimos have over 200 words for snow, while we have only one. If you buy that, you've just stepped into a big gleaming pile of husky shit and lies. The Eskimo part is true, of course, but the English part couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, we have nine words for snow, including frost, sleet, ice, slush, flurry, glaciation, hail, and winteriness. Some would also include "freeze-cipitation," although you would have to agree to count everything I say out loud once as an English word.

Anyway, the truth is that that the Eskimos also have over 200 words for "Joe," any one of which could be an appropriate moniker for your infant. Here are a few of the most popular: 

Ataninnuaq (Joe at dawn) 
Timugkauyar (Joe that is crusted on the surface) 
Qekkeitsertok (Joe that is good for packing into into Joe-balls) 
Tukkarnit (Joe in the mouth of the lead dog) 
Uarralikitak (Joe that falls quickly) 
Kagojut (Joe that has been marked by wolves) 
Nappianartok (Ordinary Joe) 

With warmest regards,