Thursday, July 26, 2001

Baby Naming Rights

The story in USA Today says that a couple is auctioning off the naming rights to their soon-to-be born baby boy. Acting as if they were giving birth to a new baseball stadium instead of a human being, 32-year-old Jason Black and Frances Schroeder are looking for some corporation to cough up $500,000 or more to permanently brand their child with a brand name.

One of Jason’s friends is quoted as saying, "I’m against it and so are almost all his friends. But he’s chosen to do it anyway, and I respect that."

You respect that??? I ridicule it!! As the ultimate merger of Generation X Ego and 21st Century Capitalist Greed, the whole thing is as sleazy as can be. The good news is that the parents haven’t had any bidders on EBay or Yahoo -- yet.

The parents are probably hoping that, since the boy will be burdened with this moniker for life, the company or product name won’t be cringe-inducing. For instance, if the high bidder is Anheuser-Busch, the kid could very easily live with the name Bud. If he wishes he were an Oscar Meyer Weiner, that is what he truly could be! Then, when he turns 16, Mom and Dad could buy him the Wienermobile as his first car.

But I like to think the other way.

What would be the worst company to buy these naming rights? What company or product name would tag this child for life with a stigma that he could later blame his parents for forever?

Once again, I turn to the listeners of my show -- who are as put off by this revolting cash concept as I am -- for suggestions. Here are several of the best Bad Baby Boy Names:

Drano. Ex-Lax. Cruex. Viagra.

Since it’s a boy, he couldn’t possibly be happy with the name Tampax. Monistat. Summer’s Eve. Vagisil. Name him Gynolotrimin and you ensure that he is always chosen last for any team sport.

Want to kill any career prospects he might have? Name him Lazy Boy.

Want to guarantee him a life of teasing? Dairy Queen. Velveeta. Vaseline. Kaopectate. Tidy Bowl. Fleet Enema. Binaca. Siemans, the telecommunications company (Siemans Black? See a urologist!).

Hooters. Yes, that would be worse for a girl, but imagine if he’s a little pudgy and has those boy-breasts...uh oh!

Also not good for a girl: Frito Lay. Others from the sexually suggestive problem name file: Ben Gay. Bunn-O-Matic. Trojan. Nads, the hair remover.

He probably wouldn’t want to go through life named Head, after the tennis racquet company. That’s an even bigger problem when he’s listed in the phone book, since his last name will be Black.

Considering that last name, maybe the perfect company for his first name would be Mennen. Go ahead, say his full name out loud.

Whatever his name turns out to be, this kid will certainly grow up to file a lawsuit against his parents for the emotional distress brought on by this ridiculous idea.

Then he’ll spend much of his adult life with his alcoholic cousin, Johnnie Walker Black.