If Spellcheck Can’t Handle This, Think Of the Children

A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster

Have you noticed that a lot of the old names are coming back? It’s like expectant parents are poring through the Bible and ancient scrolls looking for something different to call their little one, names that we don’t hear every day. I think parents-to- be start at the begats in Genesis and keep looking until they find a name that hasn’t been used in 4,000 years and hang it on the poor little squirt.

Some Biblical names that may have been popular way back in Biblical times are wisely stayed away from today; Jezebel, Delilah and Bathsheba are three I can think of right off the bat. Onan is probably okay now that Playboy is off the market. Pilate, of course is no longer a person’s name but an exercise program.

When I was in Grade 9, we studied ‘The Plains of Abraham’ and one of the characters was Hepsibah. I had never heard the name before. Now every time you turn around you meet a Hepsibah, an Obadiah or an Ozymandias, well maybe not the last one so much.

You know a name you never hear anymore, Dinah. Think about that for a minute, other than Dinah Shore and the other Dinah, George Washington’s granddaughter, when did you ever run into a Dinah? Better yet, when were you last in the kitchen with a Dinah strumming on your old banjo? It’s been weeks hasn’t it? I tried to get into the kitchen with Dinah Shore several years ago and she called the police.        

Pansy is another name from the past. In my whole life I have only known one woman named Pansy, well other than Lil’ Abner’s mother.

So many great names have disappeared over the years, some of them we will never miss and that is a blessing, like Cyril. Whenever I hear the name Cyril I picture a tall skinny guy with a big Adam’s apple. I don’t know why. (If your name is Cyril, please don’t take it personally. If your parents didn’t really want you and wanted to ruin your life, there is nothing you or I can do about it now. Besides, it can’t cost that much to change your name. If I were you I would do it right away – just don’t change it to Cecil. I went to school with a Cecil and he was tall and skinny. Whether he had a big Adam’s apple I don’t remember. He always wore turtleneck sweaters – even in the summertime.)

Wilbur is another name the world can do without, and Algernon. Algernon always sound to me like something that belongs in your throat, next to your larynx and you never hear of anyone calling their kid, Larynx. Well maybe in the southern states, down there they still name kids ‘Clem’ and ‘Rufus’, can you imagine that? Poor little bastards!

One of my friends is named Jesse. I don’t mind the name but every time he goes into a bank a security guard follows him around.

Mary and I were watching a Blue Jay/Orioles game back in September and Baltimore had a guy in the line-up named Jesus. Believe it or not, he struck out. I won’t comment on that; I am in enough trouble with the church already (67 years behind in my tithing).

I once dated a girl name Cecilia. She had a curfew but that didn’t matter because her mother never knew if she was out or not. (I’ll give you a moment to think about that)

A lot of people name their children after famous people hoping their offspring will pick up the finer qualities of their namesakes. When I was being christened the minister said, ‘I’ll go along with James for his first name but I would go with Edwin for the second. I don’t think Clem is a good idea. The kid doesn’t look all that bright in the first place.’

I once knew a kid named Ezekiel and poor Zeke was hurt in a terrible accident. He was hit by a wheel a-rolling down the 400. As you can tell, I am off my meds and Orillia Pharmacy is closed on Sunday.

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