I offer a free service to friends and acquaintances. It is this: I offer to name their babies for them. So far, no takers, even though some of my offerings were as follows:
For girls: Chalice Hulga, Blanche Tiffany, and Maude Ivy.
For boys: Oscar Dudley, Zeno Horace, and Manly Francis.
I’ve always been fascinated by names, whether it be people, book titles, countries, or anything else with a name. Even medicines, like FloNaze.
So when my long-suffering wife and I were out early on our big road trip in September, I was impressed by two towns in Mississippi through which we passed. One was named Bovina and the other was Chunky. I am not making this up. Being one who enjoys sports, I ruminated over what the schools’ teams might be called. I thought about the Bovina Bulldogs, but a former colleague of mine said that would be cross-species and wouldn’t work. I thought and thought about it. Finally, I came up with the Bovina Buttercups which, I think, honored the bovine in all of us. The town named Chunky provided a little more room and, thus, required less thought, which always appeals to me. “Chunky Chubbies?” Nope on that one. I would hate to hurt the feelings of any snowflakes in that school. “Chunky Chickens” was a nonstarter. I finally turned to the “Chunky Cherubs” which would not strike fear in the hearts of their opponents on the football field, but would certainly lull them into a false sense of superiority.
We finally crossed the Mississippi River at Vicksburg and made our way to a lunch date with friends in the Natchitoches, Louisiana. Their public high school calls itself the “Chiefs” in honor of the Natchitoches Indians indigenous to the area. I’d prefer they call themselves the “Natchitoches Neanderthals,” or “Natchitoches Knuckledraggers.” Much more intimidating than “Chiefs.” Maybe if they called themselves the Neanderthals, they’d be having a better year, but nobody asked me.