Thank you, New Zealand, for enforcing common sense….

24 Jul

One of the things that I find wonderful about other countries is that their citizens aren’t obsessed with bringing lawsuits against people for the tiniest of mundane activities, so they aren’t as weary to take a stand against morons.

So is the case with this article:  Judge forces child’s name change in New Zealand.

It’s ok if you don’t want to read the article, I’ll sum it up for you.  A poor little 9 year old girl’s moronic parents had the nerve to give her a life sentence of humiliation by naming her “Talula Does the Hula”.  Seriously.  That’s what it says on her birth certificate.  The little girl was so embarrassed by this, she never told anyone her real name, and only went by the nickname “K”.  A judge found this horrifying, and forced a name change for the little girl.  I think this is pretty awesome.

Some other names the article cited that officials actually blocked before they went down on the birth certificates are: Fish and Chips, Yeah Detroit, Keenan Got Lucy and Sex Fruit.  Yes… Sex Fruit.  What the fuck!!!!  A couple other names that actually went through were “Number 16 Bus Shelter” and “Violence”.  Some of you out there might think that “Violence” sounds like a cool name… but let’s say your kid grows up and wants to participate in the world on some professional or corporate level.  How does “Violence” look on a job application?

New Zealand laws do not allow it’s citizens to name their children names that would be deemed inappropriate or could be considered offensive or cause undue grief.  This is to protect the child… not to squash the creativity or rights of the parents.  I really don’t think this is a bad thing.

When my ex-husband and I found out I was pregnant and started thinking about baby names, any name that was a possible candidate went through “the test”.  We regressed back into Junior High mindset, and thought of anything insulting the name could rhyme with, any way it could be changed to be an insult, any way the initials could be used as a weapon, etc…. and if  it passed, it was a possibility.  Granted, kids don’t have to use a name to make fun of someone… they can always go with the tried-and-true standbys of “asshole”, “geek”, “shitbag”, “fuckwad”, “freak”, “douchebag”, etc.  BUT having the power to make your kid’s life a little more bearable during childhood is something every parent has- and many blunder by setting them up to lose with a horrible name.

If you really want to get wacky or crazy… make the middle name something nuts.  There’s a couple I’m friends with who’s daughter’s middle name is “Danger”.  I think this is adorable.  Kid’s don’t ever know what other kid’s middle names are, the girl’s first name is a beautiful one, and there’s no way that the fact that her middle name is Danger will ever come back to haunt her if she doesn’t like it when she grows up.  I have other friends, though, who have some celebrity status or who are “Punkers ’til Death” and who have named the kids the most bizarro and fucked up names… thinking that other kids won’t screw with their child because of the parent’s status.  Guess what?  6th Grade kids don’t give a shit about what mom and dad does for a living, or the fact that their parents were/are crusty punks… they’re going to make that little kid with the crazy name wish he/she had never been born because of that name.  That’s how kids are.  They’re mean.  We’ve all been kids, and we all know this to be fact.

The Johnny Cash’s song “Boy Named Sue” isn’t just a funny little tune… it’s a lesson to all expecting parents.  And if you have the unquenchable desire to name something “Yeah Detroit” or “Number 16 Bus Shelter”… get a fucking dog and go for it.  Your dog isn’t going to give a shit, or be openly mocked in front of it’s peers because of it.  Or how about changing your own fucking name to “Fish and Chips” and then see how that goes over in adult life.  But don’t inflict that shit on your kid.  Childhood is a really difficult life stage already without setting your kid up for undue psychological agony because you had to get arty.  The simplest names can be used as a weapon-of-mockery… so why give mean kids more ammunition by choosing some name that is already ridiculous?  A person’s name is important and it’s the first thing you give your child.  Don’t fuck around.  If you want to be arty, get a goddamn hobby.  Don’t take it out on your kid.

That is all for today.

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20 Responses to “Thank you, New Zealand, for enforcing common sense….”

  1. hayley g July 24, 2008 at 11:10 am #

    haha i just read that article too. i also found another one but its kinda sad:

    i copied and pasted it from the website:

    “This is so sad, yet touching.

    Reece Fleming was diagnosed with leukaemia back in 2004 when he was just 4 years old.

    He battled the disease for years until this May, when doctors gave the 8 year old boy only a few weeks to live.

    The family decided to try and help him achieve most of his goals before he would pass. And one of those was to marry his school sweetheart, Elleanor Purgslove.

    Reece’s mother said “When we found out that we only had a few weeks with him we tried to do absolutely everything with him that we could. Him and Ellie had been ‘special friends’ for a couple of years but then they broke up. We said we’d have a pirate party, and Ellie came. She went to visit Reece a few times in hospital as well.”

    Then during a recent laser tag party, Reece “proposed” to his little friend.

    After she accepted, their parents arranged a pretend wedding at Reece’s home (not the kids pictured above).

    The families went out to dinner in the mayor’s limousine and organized the wedding with rings and even a fictional certificate.

    The kids got married on July 4th. And Reece told his mom, “I can go now,” after his wedding wish had been fulfilled.

    His mom added, “He was so proud of her, and we were proud of them both.”

    The following day after the wedding, Reece died at home with his family.

    Soooooo sad!

    During the funeral, the mourners followed a horse-draw hearse on foot.

    His mom added, “Even on the Saturday that he died, he got out of bed and walked to the sofa. He always tried walking, right to the end, so we thought if he walked for us then we would walk for him.”

    What an amazing little boy.”

    and there’s this picture of them cutting their cake 😦 so sad

  2. germinfested July 24, 2008 at 11:18 am #

    When I was in little person school, I saw a movie and liked it and there was a girl in it named Piper so I started asking people to call me Piper. I changed schools and went back to Haley. Then some immature douche bag (that started going to my school, and I had gone to school with in little people school) decided to start calling me Piper again and telling other people to do the same. Admittedly that was my own fault, but now I have to tell the story of a little stupid 1st grader to 376 people.

    I know a boy named John Do.
    And last year at work, I handled this lady’s file who’s name was “Hop Twat Dong”
    Also, my friend has friends who are twins and names “Orangejello” and “Lemonjello” Like orange jello and lemon jello. CRUEL.

  3. Kristen Ferrell July 24, 2008 at 11:39 am #

    Your children are the most important things in your life… so why in the holy fuck would you name them after jello??? That’s just fucking retarded.
    You can get away with a lot more with girls names than you can boys names. A girl can be named all kinds of things, and it can either be “unique” as they get older, or can push them into the life of a stripper (stage name already intact). But boys… man, you gotta be SOOOO careful with boys names. We had a really hard time coming up with a boys name that wasn’t too common, but wasn’t too out-there. Sully’s full name is “Sullivan Maxwell”. He can keep it as ‘Sully’ if he ever wants to own a bar or something, or he can go by ‘Max’ or ‘Maxwell’ if he ever wants to be a banker or sell real estate. And if the kids ever come up with some horrible nick-name tied to ‘Sully’, he can just go by his middle name (which is my dad’s name, and fully respectable and solid).
    We tried to cover our bases. His dad and I were both tormented when we were young because we were different, so we didn’t want to add anything to Sully’s future torment because we KNEW if he was anything like us he’d be different too. We were right. So at least we spared him in the ‘name department’.

  4. Joey July 24, 2008 at 7:36 pm #

    Maybe about a year ago there was another case in New Zealand where the parents attempted to name their son “4real.” The powers that be blocked it and the parents spent several months coming up with a new name for the birth certificate before settling on naming the child “Superman.”

  5. Kristen Ferrell July 24, 2008 at 8:06 pm #

    Holy shit… are you SERIOUS????? That poor kid!!!! Why the fuck would someone ever want to do that to their child? To be funny? When that kid hits about 14, those parents are gonna wake up in the middle of the night with him standing over their bed with a knife…. 4real.

  6. Joey July 24, 2008 at 8:54 pm #

    I couldn’t make it up if I tried! The kid’s name is legally Superman Wheaton. Google “New Zealand 4Real” and you’ll turn up a bunch of articles on it.

    And if it counts for anything, I’ve known both a Prince and a Princess as well as a King.

  7. Brandi July 25, 2008 at 4:42 am #

    I named my daughter Anessa Peyge Read, and she gives me hell over it all the time. I tell her “it’s not like I named you “Page Read”, but even so. I didn’t think it was so mean! I just liked the name Page.

  8. Cassie July 25, 2008 at 5:23 am #

    I went to school with a guy whose name was Justin Case. I always wondered if he hated his parents for it.

    Even with the 9+ months of planning before Lily came I still couldn’t come up with a name I liked that was unique without the childhood horror attached to it. We landed on Lillith our last day at the hospital, right before we left. Lily is slightly uncommon, pretty and a hell of a lot easier to spell for a little one.

  9. dollypop-amyjeen July 25, 2008 at 6:48 am #

    when my good friend gave birth to her son many years ago , one of the nurses came in sullen as could be.
    and then kind of laughed like she was losing it.
    when we asked her what was going on, she said when she helping a girl fill out her paper work and asked the name of her newborn she said “femolly”.
    when she remarked how unusual that was and asked how she came up with that the girl replied “she came with it”and pointed to the baby’s wrist.(like it’s freaking cabbage patch doll)
    the nurse looked at the wrist band thing and say she meant “female”.
    funny, sure.
    but more scary as this woman just gave birth and was now going raise this child.
    and i went to school with a crystal shanda leer.
    no joke.

  10. Kristen Ferrell July 25, 2008 at 11:29 am #

    I don’t think I’ve known anyone with screwball names… or at least not on their birth certificates. I know too many people with self-given nicknames that are far from flattering.

    That’s really disturbing about the moronic lady who wanted to name her kid “femolly” because her kid “came with the name”. Just when I think people can’t get any dumber- I’m presented with more evidence that there are no depths to how far human ignorance can sink.

  11. whitney July 25, 2008 at 1:03 pm #

    okay… Fish and Chips??? WTF!!!!!!!!!

    the only “creative” or “arty” thing i like about kids names is giving the kid opposite sex names. i dunno. for some reason, i think giving a girl a boys name is cute…. i like the name Tyler or Tommi (mine and james’s dad’s are both named Tom) for a girl.
    i’ve also met guys named Whitney. apparently Whitney was a “boy” name before it was a “girl” name. i’ve also met boys named Shannon and Ashley….. i’ve also known people named “Mary Christmas” or “Crystal Blue Waters”…. sheesh.
    there is also a girl that works at our local theatre named Charlie…. i read her name tag and asked if that was really her name and she said “yesss…” as if i was going to laugh, but i told her it was a cute fucking name. hopefully she doesnt feel bad about it…. :\

    i’ve heard of people with the middle name Danger before. that’s funny. but youre right, not everybody knows everyones middle name, so it’s almost aloud to have a fucked up middle name. i have a boring middle name.

    know how people name their dogs “D-O-G”? so when you say it it sounds like “Deeogee”…. what if some parents named their kid “Kayidee”….. K-I-D.
    horrible idea!! yet i thought of it.

    wheeeeeeee, i am ramblinngggg.

  12. Lex July 26, 2008 at 3:54 am #

    OMG…how heinous. We run into this problem in our family. Gavin wants to name a boy after his Great-Grandfather Harrison and I won’t allow a “Harry Johnston”…..it’s just too close, even with the ‘t’ in there.

    We did pick out my oldest daughter’s middle name after his great-grandmother and for two days didn’t realize until we told his mother about it that that would come together as “Polly Esther”. I immediately dropped it refusing to name my daughter Polyester and eventually settled on Ingrid instead, who now wants to go by Polly due to her love of PJ (Polly Jean) Harvey. She even has the guitar and everything…LOL. She’s the one I keep telling you somehow got some of your genes. Since she was just a toddler I’ve sworn that I somehow gave birth to the child of Kristen Ferrell and all she wants to ever do is draw and dress up decidedly different from her fellow 8-year-olds.

    My initials, BTW, are A.P.E. and I’m still yelling at my Mom about it.

  13. TaraRist July 26, 2008 at 1:01 pm #

    Friends of mine were expecting a baby and the father to be was very intent upon the name Turbo Rocket lastname if it were a boy. Up until the 7th month of pregnancy it was a fun little nickname for the fetus growing inside it’s mama, however they decided that if the kid were to be taken seriously as an adult “Turbo” wasn’t exactly the appropriate name for him. SO, when the baby boy was born they compromised and named him Ebin Rockett lastname. I think the creativity is still there, but he won’t be associated with any superhuman transformers or anything when he’s like 50.

  14. Kristen Ferrell July 27, 2008 at 8:50 am #

    Lex- I’m so glad you didn’t go with Polly Esther. As funny as it is- it’s pretty brutal. And I had no idea your initials are A.P.E.!! How did your parents not see that when then named you!!

    And Rockett is a cute middle name. Getting crazy with middle names is totally OK in my book. But naming a kid “Turbo” is just mean. And I guarantee they will NEVER see the humor in it.

  15. Fantasy July 27, 2008 at 10:12 am #

    Okay, I had to join in on this one just for the pure fact that my name is so wierd. Fantasy Pack. I sound like a pornstar/stripper/fluffer. I got a lot of flack for my name growing up but for some reason was never fazed by it.
    I just had twin boys 4 months ago and AGONIZED over their names for months. I didnt want them to be wierd and went over the same things you did (the “will it rhyme with anything, how can it be twisted”, etc) but at the same time I wanted something unique and different. I figured if I could handle the teasing then my boys could too.
    Sooo, I settled on: Ashlar Dean Danger & Dorian Ray Trouble.
    Yeah, twin boys and their middle names are Trouble and Danger.
    That magician Penn Jillette has a daughter whos middle name is Crime Fighter. Her mom said the same thing you did, middle names dont mean shit! I even went so far as to give them double middle names so if they absolutely abhor them they can pretend like the “wierd” name isnt even there!
    yay!

  16. Kristen Ferrell July 27, 2008 at 9:44 pm #

    now that is just brilliant!!! those names are fantastic for your little boys!!

    Fantasy Pack…. you are one strong woman.
    😀

  17. Lex July 28, 2008 at 4:57 am #

    HA! It’s just funny that we didn’t put the two decided names together and realize that they made up “PollyEsther” for two whole days! My Mom claims she never saw it coming, my APE initials. When I worked at Sprint for a month or so (you know MY job record…LOL) that’s what everything went into the computer as, as my initials. Then other people would go back over someone’s account and start asking, “Who’s APE?!?”. By then I was too used to being embarrassed by My Big Fat Greek-Spanish Name.

    I could change my name to my husband’s at any time as well, but I just can’t do it. My name is mine….plus it irks me that my Fundie neighbors refuse to use my real name and my husband’s instead. Oh well, that’s Kansas Suburbia for you. I think they’re actually becoming replaced by pods a la Invasion of the Body Snatchers out here it’s gotten so Jesus Camp.

    Fantasy, middle names so completely count, or used to in school at least! I just decided to get used to being embarrassed every year, but now I’m happy to have a Spanish surname as my middle name. I like your choices though, it’s fun. For me it just made me more ethnic; Danger & Trouble are OK. Besides, twins take care of each other it seems.

  18. Tawni July 28, 2008 at 12:20 pm #

    This is an excellent blog, and I totally agree with you (and the New Zealand gub’ment) that it is cruel to inflict a lifetime of mockery on an innocent child. Why would anyone want to do that to their kid? You’re supposed to want to protect them from the assholes swimming among us, not wrap them in bait and dangle them over the waters. Sigh.

    I gave my son a fairly common first name (Miles) because growing up “Tawni” was (and still is) such a pain in the ass. Nobody gets it right the first time and I just don’t think it’s the kind of name people take seriously. Kind of adult filmish. I’m actually embarrassed when I tell new people I’m meeting my name, and catch myself saying it apologetically and self-consciously, even though I had nothing to do with the stupid thing.

    Miles is my grandma’s maiden name, so she was pretty thrilled that I used it. I gave him a boring middle name (Matthew- in honor of my husband’s best friend since childhood) and now really wish I’d given him something unusual, in case he wanted to go by his unique middle name, so he’d have the option. Do you know how one might add another name to a kid’s birth certificate? Does that cost a lot of money? (Anyone here ever done that?) Hmmm. I might wait until he is older and let him help choose a cool middle name to add, then pay for the name change and make it official.

    I always wished my parents would do that for me. I don’t know what my name would be, but it would not be a stripper-tastic name like Tawni, that’s for sure! 🙂

    xoxoxoxo.

  19. Kristen Ferrell July 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm #

    you can have his name legally changed at your town’s courthouse. my husband did this with his last name a few years ago. his real last name is D’Lugacz (which caused much pronunciation grief of everyone he came in contact with all through his life). but he somehow got the nickname of his last name being Logan (he still won’t tell me how it came about… he just says “i don’t remember”… which i know is bullshit)… and the nickname stuck for keeps. so after years of having drama at airports because people would book flights for him as “Brad Logan” instead of what was on his drivers licence, or getting paychecks with the wrong name on it- he just changed it. it costs about $100, and is really simple.
    i’m sure you could do it for miles if you wanted to! but i like the idea of letting him pick a middle name when he’s older. that’s super cute!!!

  20. Katrin July 30, 2008 at 2:40 am #

    Sometimes I wish my parents would have given me a fancier name, but whenever I read of such crazy names I am actually glad I have gotten away with a common name…. unlike Jason Lee’s poor son, who answers to the sweet name of “Pilot Inspektor” 🙂

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