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Words From Adelaide: Bonkers Parents

...I knew a London family with the surname of Flowers. So what happened? Yes, you've guessed it; they called their unfortunate son, Chrysanthemum and their daughter, Violet, and, wait for it, a second daughter, Bluebell...

John Powell, aghast and amused in equal measure, tells of the crazy names imposed on children.

For more of John's columns please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/words_from_adelaide/

The other day an actress, expecting her child to be born on a Sunday, was disappointed when it arrived on another day. Unperturbed, she pressed ahead and christened her daughter, Sunday. I'll bet her daughter will bless her Mum when she goes to school and hears kids calling her, 'Hi, Thursday', or, 'Do you want to play ball, Yesterday?'

I knew a London family with the surname of Flowers. So what happened? Yes, you've guessed it; they called their unfortunate son, Chrysanthemum and their daughter, Violet, and, wait for it, a second daughter, Bluebell.

I ask you; imagine as you meet them; the Mum, Mrs Flowers, says, proudly, 'Please meet my children, Chrysanthemum, Violet and Bluebell.'

Or how about the school prizes presentation as the Principal gets up and says 'This year's prize winners in three categories of Gardening are the brother and his sisters: Chrysanthemum Flowers, Violet Flowers and Bluebell Flowers.'

It would confuse the audience; surely not three prizes for flowers—little realizing that their three prizes were for compost heap construction, hydroponic vegetables and cactus plants.

I bet the three siblings could have given, willingly, a burst of 'rapid fire' from a Kalashnikov in the direction of their dotingly, proud parents. I'm sure the other kids had a merry old time with their names.

My parents were always muddling us up. They called my older brother, Tom, and me, John. How stupid; they sound so much alike; they should have called us something like Montmorency and Algernon.

'Tom, stop that noise.' Mum would shout.

Tom and I added to the confusion with zest; ' 'm not doing it, it's John the ugly one,' he would protest.

'Yes, Mum, it was John, 'I'd yell back, 'this is me, Tom', as Mother came storming in.

'Which one was making all that noise?'

'It was, Tom,' said Tom pointing at me.

'Now stop it, you two!' she would demand.

She turned to me, 'Was it you, Tom,—I mean, John?'

'Yes, I'm John. Tom is the smelly one over there.'

The Flowers family was not alone with silly names. There have been some real corkers in recent times, especially Hollywood parents. How about Moon Unit for the little girl of one of them. Wouldn't the other kids love that one!

Another Hollywood couple thought of a better one with the names Dweezil for the boy and Muffin for the girl. Well, it needs little imagination on how the kids would latch on to Dweezil and little Miss Muffin like turkey stuffin'.

The Hollywood showbiz nuts must have been smoking something funny as the names cascade out, each trying to out-do the others. Just imagine the teacher calling the Roll.

'Zowie? Here!.. Fifi Trixibell? Here!..Brooklyn?..Here!

Heavenly?' No reply.

'Hiraani?' No reply.

'Tiger?' No reply.

'Lily?' No reply.

The Teacher asks, 'Does anyone know where they are'?

'I'm here'.

'You mean, you are all of them? Heavenly, Hiraani, Tiger, Lily'.

'Yeah, like quadruplets.'

The rest would be easy… Pixie… Tom Cat… Suri… Apple… Aurelius Cy… Princess Tiami… Sonnet… Ocean… True… Kal-el… Pilot Ispektor… Shiloh…… Dweezil… Muffin… Sunday… Moon Unit. It only needs Bluebell Flowers to be the teacher.

Mind you, it goes on in other languages. I knew an Arab girl called, Khodra, meaning Green. To be original the others were called Red and Blue. There was also a son named, Hannafee, meaning a Tap. I wonder what the Papa called all the other little drips? Kitchen-sink, Washer and Drain-Pipe, perhaps. At least practical, not like old Muffin and Moon Unit. Imagine Mama calling them for lunch,

'Cooo-eee! Green, Washer, Red, Lavatory-Chain, Blue, Basin, Tap, Yellow, Drain-pipe--- lunch is ready.'

'What about me?'

'Sorry! You too, kitchen-sink.'

The Chinese are into this too. I knew a Chinese called, Ay. It wouldn't surprise me if the next were called, Bee, and Cee. After having 26 kids, as used to occur, and having used up the alphabet, who came next? A1, B1, maybe. What a problem; no wonder the Chinese now limit a family to one kid. Now they'd all be called, Ay. Easier for the Teacher calling the roll, 'Ay?' And 50 kids in the class would answer in unison, 'Here!'

Brilliant idea of the Chinese Government; it would reduce roll-call time and they would actually get on with teaching, whereas, before, with the multi-maxi-multi family kids it took about 6 hours just calling the Roll before lessons started.

Well, after that lot, I'll let my parents off the hook. Maybe they weren't so bonkers after all---only their two sons, Tom and John! (Or is it, John and Tom?)

© John Powell 2008


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