Random acts of senseless names

As news of Julia Roberts’ pregnancy zinged around the world, practically world news on a CNN scale, I, an avowed Julia fan who never lets a good chick-flick pass me by, just couldn’t force myself to break into even a little baby bootie dance.

Instead, I found myself experiencing a sense of dread I just couldn’t shake.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t entirely rooted in the knowledge that just weeks after she delivers the twins she’ll appear publicly sporting board flat abs and insist that the baby weight “just fell off.”

Senseless baby names. No, what I can’t stomach is my dread fear of random acts of senseless celebrity baby names.

Namely, the prospect of a double dose of bizarre baby naming that will further prove that famous folks, despite their continued protests to the contrary, really aren’t like you and me or any remotely normal person on the planet.

In their quest for something original and distinctive because, clearly, being gorgeous and talented, isn’t distinctive enough, celebrity parents are increasingly driven to saddle their offspring with names that defy logic and reason.

Examples. Recent examples of celebrity baby name abuse include, but are sadly not limited to: Pilot Inspektor (actor Jason Lee); Banjo (actress Rachel Griffiths); Diezel and Denim (Toni Braxton); and Jermajesty (Jermaine Jackson – a negligible celebrity to boot, so what’s his excuse anyway?)

Scary. Not to be outdone by Jermaine’s commitment to getting his kid beat up on a regular basis, we have Michael Jackson’s offspring: Prince Michael, Prince Michael II (aka Blanket), and Paris Michael; with a nod to Speck Wildhorse and Hud (sons of John Mellencamp and Elaine Irwin); Tu Morrow (say it aloud for maximum impact – daughter of Rob Morrow and Debbon Ayre).

Honorable mention to Audio Science (Shannyn Sossamon and Dallas Clayton); and, drumroll please … actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s first-born daughter: Apple.

Clearly, there will be a plethora of debate on which of these names is the most appalling. Is it inexcusable to name one’s child after fabric?

If moved to immortalize a motor fuel by way of your baby, should you at least aim to spell it correctly?

Worst. Still, we would argue that the worst of the most recent bunch is unquestionably “Audio Science.”

Obviously, a name like that works better as a set. Thus we can only hope that little Audio is soon joined at home by his (her?) siblings: “Physical” and “Social.”

Nothing new. Granted, this trend isn’t entirely new. I think a fair amount of blame can be heaped at the feet of Hollywood heavies such as Bruce Willis and Demi Moore who fired up this bandwagon years earlier when naming their own children: Tallulah Belle, Scout, and Rumer.

We can only dream that had they stayed together we could have joined the world in welcoming their fourth child: Bald-faced Lie.

To be fair, random acts of senseless baby names are not the sole product of the rich and famous. You too can live like a celebrity and saddle your child with a completely twisted name.

Pick a name. All you have to do is pick some chance word and use it in place of a first name. Think Twizzler, Four Wheel Drive, Poly Esther, or Cashew for maximum impact.

Why, there’s one right there: Maximum Impact! You’ll want to act fast before some supermodel or rock star steals it.

Not only are these monikers “different,” but they still sound almost normal when compared to Gwyneth’s fruit-inspired effort.

Just imagine yourself years from now intoning: “Tank Top Smith, I’m not telling you again mister!” Or your joy when little “Digital Camara” graduates from Harvard. Or stripper school.

Weird name problem. Luckily, back on the celebrity front, little Apple will grow up in Hollywood and, as such, will be on a playground with other celebrity children with names like JuJuBee, Zanzibar, Lunar Moon, and the like.

So she won’t have to worry about that whole pesky “let’s make fun of the weird name kid” problem. That scorn will be reserved for those poor kids with unfortunate names like Sarah or Michael.

No, we can only hope for little Apple’s sake that she doesn’t run into trouble with the law as a teen (‘Bad Apple!’) or grow up overweight (‘The Big Apple’).

As a fan. Who’s laughing now, Gwyneth? Finally, as a fan, I’ll just pray that Julia Roberts isn’t partial to anything like, say, Kumquats.

Kymberly Foster Seabolt would never name a child Apple. Celery, maybe. She welcomes comments c/o kseabolt@epohi.comor P.O. Box 38, Salem, Ohio 44460.

About the Author

Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless. More Stories by Kymberly Foster Seabolt

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