Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hula With Talula

When I was growing up, like a lot of children, I hated my name. I despised it. Not the “Robert” part, but the rest of it. I hated my middle name which is “Reeve”. All my classmates seemed to laser in the fact I hated it within the first few minutes of the school year and spend the rest of the year tormenting me with it. I also hated my last name, “Selander” and all the kids would call me “Robbie Salamandar” on the bus and until I would cry. I didn’t even know what a salamander was, but I didn’t like it. When I was older, it became Robbie Cylinder, another name I hated but didn’t quite have the power to reduce me to a sobbing blob. My mom is a HUGE soap opera fan and I used to wonder why she didn’t name me something like “Storm”, “Bolt”, “Thorn”, anything what would sound exotic and exciting and look fabulous in lights.

Now I like my name, I like how it all sounds. There is even a “Second” at the end of it, which I really like. That caused a bit of a problem when I moved to Holland. The only people that have a number after their names there are members of the royal family and other assorted aristocracy. I was not pleased to have to explain and explain that I was in fact not of blue blood. I was not of noble descent and I had absolutely no claim to any throne save my being the very last person left on the planet, and even then the odds were not in my favor.

So I can certainly empathize with a certain nine year old girl in New Zealand who was given the name “Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii”. What were her parents thinking? Were they thinking? First off, it is grammatically incorrect, as if she were a live television broadcast of herself –“Live, from Hawaii, it’s Talula and her Hula!” But I think the most unforgivable part of giving a child a name like this is not starting it with “Princess” – Now, doesn’t “Princess Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii” have much better ring to it?

Pass me my ukulele, this calls for a song…

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