Art of the Teal

Cidu Bill on Sep 8th 2017


Filed in Barney & Clyde, Bill Bickel, CIDU, comic strips, comics, humor | 72 responses so far

72 Responses to “Art of the Teal”

  1. fleabane Sep 8th 2017 at 01:09 am 1

    He never goes to bed without making a major decision. His major decision of this day is to never use periwinkle. That doesn’t really seem all that “major” to the girl. He points out that as when gets older one takes a lot more leeway in what can be consider “major”.

  2. Ted from Ft. Laud Sep 8th 2017 at 01:21 am 2

    Basically, if you get to set the bar yourself, there’s no limit to how low it can get set.

  3. Kilby Sep 8th 2017 at 03:20 am 3

    @ Ted in Irmaland (2) - Speaking of bars, do you have enough plywood for your windows?

    P.S. Stay safe!

  4. James Pollock Sep 8th 2017 at 03:48 am 4

    “Speaking of bars, do you have enough plywood for your windows?”

    Since it’s one of the major industries here, we’re happy to make more…

  5. Kilby Sep 8th 2017 at 05:04 am 5

    The solution that fleabane gave @1 seems obviously correct. I wonder whether Bill really thought this was a CIDU, or whether he simply felt compelled to post it so that he could use that superb headline.

  6. Olivier Sep 8th 2017 at 05:14 am 6

    And the teal remark shows the girl lowering her expectations of a very highbrow discussion about success down to mundane wall-painting ; she may patronize him a bit, here.

  7. Mitch4 Sep 8th 2017 at 08:47 am 7

    If I recall correctly, her name is Danae. I don’t know if it’s written with a dieresis, or thus how it’s pronounced - - if it has become something of a popular given name. (Do parents giving names from myth and history care about what narrative that may carry? Does anyone get named Medusa, for instance?)

  8. James Pollock Sep 8th 2017 at 09:47 am 8

    “Does anyone get named Medusa, for instance?)”

    Not a Fantastic Four fan, then? Madame Medusa will be a main character in the upcoming “Inhumans” TV show…

  9. Kilby Sep 8th 2017 at 10:15 am 9

    @ mitch4 (7) - Have you been reading Bizarro lately?

    P.S. Comic artists can use any name they want, but as for real people: no, you would not be able to name your kid “Medusa”, at least not in Germany. The rules have been relaxed in recent years, but oddball names are normally checked, in particular whether they refer back to a “negative” character.

  10. James Pollock Sep 8th 2017 at 10:42 am 10

    All it takes is a minute or so with Google

  11. Ted from Ft. Laud Sep 8th 2017 at 10:59 am 11

    The girl is Cynthia (Danae is one of the sisters in Non Sequitur).

    And no plywood - impact (doors, windows, and skylights) all the way around. But there has been a whole lot of plywood sold around here recently…

    And thanks!

  12. Winter Wallaby Sep 8th 2017 at 11:07 am 12

    Kilby #9: In the U.S. you generally have the right to give your child whatever name you want. You could run into problems if you wanted to put numbers or umlauts in the name, but not just for having an oddball name like Medusa. You could also give your child a first name of Adolf and a middle name of Hitler if you wanted.

    Of course, that doesn’t answer mitch4’s question of whether any American actually name their child Medusa. But out of a population of 300+ million, I imagine there must be at least a few.

  13. Andréa Sep 8th 2017 at 11:48 am 13

    “If I recall correctly, her name is Danae.”
    Isn’t she in ‘Non Sequitur’?

  14. James Pollock Sep 8th 2017 at 12:30 pm 14

    “In the U.S. you generally have the right to give your child whatever name you want.”

    You also have the right to call yourself whatever you want, and in most cases, the right to make them print it on your driver’s license, too.

  15. jajizi Sep 8th 2017 at 12:40 pm 15

    “If I recall correctly, her name is Danae.”

    Her name is Cynthia. Danae is the name of a girl that appears regularly in Non Sequitur.

  16. Mitch4 Sep 8th 2017 at 01:06 pm 16

    Ah, thanks for the correction, jajizi.

  17. Mitch4 Sep 8th 2017 at 01:17 pm 17

    Kilby #9, yes, quite likely it was recent Bizarro reading that supplied me the name Medusa. Besides the one you linked, with her problem over bangs, wasn’t it also a Bizarro that showed a modern woman calling rodent control when her head-snakes had eaten some of the rats but evidently weren’t solving that for her?

  18. Mona Sep 8th 2017 at 01:44 pm 18

    I know a young couple who recently had a baby boy. They gave him an unusual name that I had never heard before. Thinking it might be something from their (young people) culture I Googled it. I was expecting to find something from perhaps music, movies, TV, graphic novels. According to Urban Dictionary, it means best b!tch or #1 girl. Maybe they’re going for the “boy named Sue” sort of thing?

  19. Kilby Sep 8th 2017 at 02:18 pm 19

    @ mitch4 (15) - I remembered seeing that one, too, but it was farther back than I had expected.

    P.S. @ jajizi (14) - I can understand mitch4’s mistake @7 all too well. I often have trouble distinguishing Cynthia and Danae, they have very similar personailities.

  20. Kilby Sep 8th 2017 at 04:26 pm 20

    Considering how often I gripe about lazy or incompetent colorists, I think this strip deserves an award for getting the correct background.

  21. Minor Annoyance Sep 8th 2017 at 04:42 pm 21

    Medusa: Charles Addams had her sitting in a salon chair, looking impatient as the hairdresser displayed serious doubts about clipping. The animated “Justice League Unlimited” placed her in Hades, griping about somebody swiping her curling iron. “Monsters Inc” has a girl monster with snakes for hair. She talks to her boyfriend about wearing it short (snakes panic) but decides on long (snakes sigh in relief). And this one has only one snake, but she’s in the creepiest Porky Pig cartoon ever:

  22. Mark in Boston Sep 8th 2017 at 08:48 pm 22

    Related: “Everybody should believe in something. I believe I’ll have another drink.”

  23. Stan Sep 8th 2017 at 11:23 pm 23

    Is that true that you can name your child whatever you want? What if you wanted to call your kid ‘G0damm3d M0therf***er Smith’? Would nobody stop you? I thought you had to register your child somewhere when they are born. Are there no controls for this sort of thing? Being happily childless myself, I have no idea how these things work.

    Recently in Nova Scotia, Canada, some guy was not allowed to have the personalized licence plate ‘Grabher’, even though it was his last name. It seems odd that there are rules for licence plates and not babies.

  24. Stan Sep 8th 2017 at 11:26 pm 24

    PS I read WW’s comment about numbers, but I just put numbers in the name above to avoid being put into moderation limbo by Wordpress. Please take all numbers as letters, and *s as substitutes for letters I’m sure you can all work out.

  25. mitch4 Sep 8th 2017 at 11:46 pm 25

    WW #12 mentions: You could run into problems if you wanted to put numbers or umlauts in the name

    I’ll note that IMDB says Mädchen Amick was”[b]orn and raised in Sparks, Nevada”. Elisabeth Röhm, however, was born in Düsseldorf, Germany; and of course her umlaut was not in her given name.

  26. James Pollock Sep 9th 2017 at 01:06 am 26

    “What if you wanted to call your kid ‘G0damm3d M0therf***er Smith’?”

    You’d be an a-hole with a kid with a nickname or two.

    “I thought you had to register your child somewhere when they are born.”
    You do not. If your baby is born in a hospital, then THEY have paperwork.
    In the olden days, before hospital births were common, the common practice in the U.S. was to write the name of the baby and the baby’s birth date in the family Bible. You’ll still find statutes that list this, specifically, as sufficient to establish birth in the United States and thus citizenship, and proof of birthday, thus the child is now old enough for whatever they’re old enough for.
    You DO have to apply for a Social Security number for your child before you can claim them as a tax deduction, so most babies register with Social Security as newborns, instead of waiting until just before they have wages to report, as was common when I was that age.
    True story… over half a million Americans disappeared when the IRS started requiring SSNs for tax deductions instead of just names and ages.

    “It seems odd that there are rules for licence plates and not babies.”
    License plates belong to the state (or province). Babies do not.

  27. Winter Wallaby Sep 9th 2017 at 02:01 am 27

    Stan #21: I believe some (most?) states have rules against obscenities in names, and I suspect those would withstand constitutional challenge. There are probably other administrative rules that you could run into, if you wanted, for example, a 1000 character name. But the limits are pretty minimal.

    It makes sense to me that you have more freedom for children’s names than license plates - you have a constitutional right to decide how to raise your children, but not a constitutional right to have the government issue a license plate of your choosing. (And, of course, Canada is not the U.S. - I have no idea what Canadian baby name rules are like.)

    mitch4 #23: Why “of course”? (And to clarify, I said that you “could” run into problems. You may or may not run into problems, depending on your state.)

  28. fleabane Sep 9th 2017 at 02:18 am 28

    Stan, what authorities? You register a birth certificate to register a birth. You can list any name you want. My sister ended up not having any name.

    Winter wallaby, you don’t have to give your child the middle name of Hitler. You could give her the last name of Hitler if you want.

  29. Kilby Sep 9th 2017 at 04:29 am 29

    There are a number of German first names that contain umlauts, I was careful to avoid them all when picking names for our kids, because I knew they would just cause trouble.(*) Besides umlauts, German family names may also contain the double-S (”ß”) character. Thankfully, there are no given names with an “ß” in them.

    P.S. (*) - One (secondary) reason that I nixed one of the local (suburban) hospitals was that using it would have introduced an umlaut in the “place of birth” on the kids’ passports, but driving into Berlin had other advantages, too.

    P.S. As for length, some Germans award multiple given names. There was a legal ruling that limited the number of given names to five, unless the parent could demonstrate a compelling reason that more were needed.

    P.P.S. I knew someone in college whose official (South American) name was extremely long, containing a string of family names tracing back through the family tree. She had a “short form” that was on her driver’s license, but when she graduated, her diploma listed the whole thing across multiple lines.

  30. mitch4 Sep 9th 2017 at 09:17 am 30

    WW #24: Gee, I don’t know why I wrote “of course” in #23 — maybe just for prosody! :-) Oh wait, … it was a concessive, saying it wasn’t really a case of what we had been talking about, since as you of course can see by inspection the umlaut is on her surname, not her given name ..

    Question for those who know British (or Commonwealth) usage: Do they still ever (as in some older films or endless detective TV programmes) ask for one’s “Christian name”? Did it ever work to object “Look, I’m not a Christian. I’ll tell you my first name, or given name, if you need it for your form”.?

  31. Winter Wallaby Sep 9th 2017 at 11:51 am 31

    mitch4 #26: I totally missed that the umlaut was on her surname. :) I was thinking there was some well-known fact about Elisabeth Röhm, and how her name was changed. Which was weird, since I think of her as semi-obscure. (Not for me, since I was a big fan of Buffy/Angel.)

  32. James Pollock Sep 9th 2017 at 12:27 pm 32

    “I think of her as semi-obscure.”

    She was on several seasons of Law & Order, which means that she is appearing in an episode that is airing right now, somewhere, and will still be playing when Milliway’s closes.

  33. Brian in STL Sep 9th 2017 at 02:50 pm 33

    There are a number of people in the US that already have the last name of Hitler.

    There are even a few Adolphs. Personally I liked “Vinny Hitler”. Ultimate mob enforcer?

  34. B.A. Sep 9th 2017 at 04:33 pm 34

    Why should ä be any more problematic than é?

  35. Kamino Neko Sep 9th 2017 at 04:59 pm 35

    I have no idea what Canadian baby name rules are like.

    There aren’t really any - in Ontario, at least, there’s a rule that they need to be spelt with letters (no numbers or symbols), and in BC and Quebec there’s rules that a name can be rejected if it’s determined to be opening the child to ridicule (this can be misapplied, such as the Quebec registrar rejecting an anglophone couple naming their daughter Ivory, because in Quebecois French, it’s only a brand of soap, but for the most part it’s a good rule), but that’s the extend of it.

  36. Stan Sep 9th 2017 at 08:48 pm 36

    WW - “It makes sense to me that you have more freedom for children’s names than license plates”

    Well, I just mean that I’m guessing the idea behind limiting licence plate names is to avoid offending the public. Wouldn’t the same apply to a person who has to deal with the public everyday? I can just imagine a 3rd grade class teacher during roll call. “Mary? Here! Mark? Here! M0therf***er? Here!”

    Fleabane - “Stan, what authorities?” The authorities who register names, I suppose. From what people are saying, I guess they have no control, which was my question.

  37. Mark in Boston Sep 9th 2017 at 08:59 pm 37

    Have you noticed that when a boy name is given to a girl, that name can never again be used for boys?

    Evelyn. Taylor. Marion with an “o”, as if Marian with an “a” didn’t exist.

  38. Arthur Sep 9th 2017 at 11:35 pm 38

    MiB @ 33: Robin? Jesse? Riley? Jordan?

  39. Cidu Bill Sep 9th 2017 at 11:47 pm 39

    Kilby (29), couldn’t the ß in a given name just be replaced when necessary by “ss”?

  40. Cidu Bill Sep 9th 2017 at 11:50 pm 40

    My wife (Robin) had a male college classmate also named Robin (not, by the way, from anywhere withon the British Commonwealth). Who shared her last name.

    Hilarity ensued.

  41. James Pollock Sep 10th 2017 at 12:51 am 41

    ” I can just imagine a 3rd grade class teacher during roll call. “Mary? Here! Mark? Here! M0therf***er? Here!””


    Nicknames for license plates? Not so much.

    ” “Stan, what authorities?” The authorities who register names, I suppose.”

    There are several. There’s the nice folks at vital records who record births and deaths, but, as I explained above, it’s not legally required to register births, and some folks don’t (used to be WAY more common). There’s people at the DMV, but, again… optional.
    There’s the folks at the Social Security Administration, which is TECHNICALLY optional unless you ever have wages, in which case you have to get an account with Social Security.
    If you want to leave the country, you’ll need a passport. If you don’t leave the country, though, you don’t need a passport.

    In America, people may choose to go by whatever name they choose, and can have the government respect their chosen name, as long as the reason for the change is not to defraud. So, of course, most women change their names when the marry (and many change again when they divorce), babies who are adopted may get new names from their adoptive parents, and professional actors often take stage names, with some choosing to formalize the change, and others remaining legally with their original name. So Leslie Hope, Calvin Broadus, Ricardo Valenzuala and Marion Morrison all became famous under different names.

  42. guero Sep 10th 2017 at 01:23 am 42

    And there are those who think they have authority. Back in the 70’s when we got married in Texas, my wife took my last name (much to my surprise), but within the year wanted to change back to her maiden name. We didn’t bother going through any official channels for any of this. But when she took a job in Alabama and went down to get her driver’s license the good Christian lady at the DMV refused to allow her to use anything but her “married” name. She just returned the next day and went to a different clerk, no problem.

  43. Cidu Bill Sep 10th 2017 at 02:24 am 43

    The government’s probably a lot stricter about identity these days:

    The day after we were married (late 1970s), we took off for Europe. The tickets both said “Bickel.” What we’d forgotten was that my wife’s passport still had her maiden name. Since said name was similar to mine, nobody at any of the six airports we passed through noticed the difference.

    I suspect that could NOT happen today (especially since she was travelling with somebody whose passport photo made him look like a deranged terrorist).

  44. Kilby Sep 10th 2017 at 03:55 am 44

    @ Bill (29) - Yes, it is possible (and even ordained) to use “ss” for “ß” whenever the system (or keyboard) does not provide for an “ß”(*), but the point is that there simply aren’t any German first names that use the “ß”, not even in the older baby name books. I actually scanned through one antique edition cover to cover, just looking to see whether there were any old Germanic names that I would ever consider using. And no, there weren’t; they all sounded hideously archaic.

    P.S. (*) - Last names in passports are an exception to the “ß” replacement rule: even though the scanning line is always composed of capital letters(**), German passports still use the “ß” character, to prevent confusing any of those rare cases in which some families use “ss” in the name, and others use “ß”.

    P.P.S. (**) - The standard German tradition always held that “ß” was exclusively a lowercase character, but this recently changed (on June 29th): there is now an official uppercase “ß” character that can be used when needed. However, not only are these “necessary cases” extremely rare, there just aren’t a lot of fonts that actually provide for the new character (yet).

  45. Stan Sep 10th 2017 at 04:41 am 45

    “Here. MF?”

    Yea, this is a loophole, of course. But wouldn’t this bring a sense of shame or paranoia to the child? Imagine that nobody wanted to address you by your given name because it’s so offensive to everyone’s ears. Everyone would know what MF stood for, and you’d be a constant source of rather negative attention, and likely ridicule…or I think you’d feel that way at the very least. I would have thought there may be something in place to protect kids from this sort of thing.

    “There are several.”

    Yea, I assumed there were. But not to beat a dead horse, I find it odd that none of these agencies would step in if you tried to bestow a truly offensive name upon a child…or offensive to the general population, acknowledging that what is offensive is subjective.

    Thanks for all of the information everyone. I’ve learned a lot. a) You don’t need a name at all if you play your cards right, and b) no one will stop you from screwing up your kid.

  46. Ted from Ft. Laud Sep 10th 2017 at 05:06 am 46

    guero @ 42 - the reverse also happens. When we got married (mid 80s), my wife didn’t change her name. Since that time, there have been numerous (official and semi-official) occasions where the married status of others was assumed (because of self-reported same last names) but questioned in our case (because of different last names). Recently, an insurance office (for my wife’e employer) wouldn’t accept me as a valid dependent without seeing a marriage license, and because the (certified) copy we have is basically unreadable, I was almost rejected. However, others she knows got no questions about their spouses.

  47. fleabane Sep 10th 2017 at 12:58 pm 47

    Wow. You are first group of people I’ve dropped the hint that my sister doesn’t have a name who didn’t bite. Tough crowd.

  48. mitch4 Sep 10th 2017 at 03:45 pm 48

    fleabane #6, I missed your poser earlier, but see it now. (In face there seem to be a number I didn’t see when I might have responded differently. Maybe some moderation effects?) Anyway … nooo, how can that be?! She ended up not having any name? Whaaa?

    Also I thought Mona at #18 was also posing a puzzle, or guessing opportunity. But I didn’t see guesses or discussion. I’ll hazard one — Mona, is the child named “Bae”?

  49. Danny Boy (London Derrière) Sep 10th 2017 at 07:24 pm 49

    Thinking of what Stan says @45 … The tradition of “her nickname in college was BJ” and you wait to find out if she’s Barbara Jean or not.

  50. Brian in STL Sep 11th 2017 at 11:47 am 50

    “Yea, I assumed there were. But not to beat a dead horse, I find it odd that none of these agencies would step in if you tried to bestow a truly offensive name upon a child”

    Do any such agencies have any authority to “step in”?

  51. Winter Wallaby Sep 11th 2017 at 12:04 pm 51

    fleabane, I also missed your earlier comment @28. What happened with your sister?

    Also, regarding giving the last name of Hitler, also @28: The reason I specified middle name is that some states do have laws restricting the last name of the child, usually to the last name of a parent. So your ability to give your child a last name of Hitler is state-dependent.

    Brian in STL: I do not believe any agencies have the authority to step in, and a state statute that tried to give them such authority would face serious constitutional issues. OTOH, the choice of an offensive name could doubtlessly be used as evidence if the state was attempting to argue that you were an unfit parent.

  52. Cidu Bill Sep 11th 2017 at 02:24 pm 52

    Kilby (44), if ß was considered lower-case, what did they do when they needed to spell out a word in upper-case, replace it with SS?

  53. James Pollock Sep 11th 2017 at 03:16 pm 53

    “I do not believe any agencies have the authority to step in, and a state statute that tried to give them such authority would face serious constitutional issues. ”

    The applicable statute wouldn’t be “it’s not OK to give your kids non-socially-acceptable names”, it would be under the heading of “it’s not OK to intentionally injure your kids, physically, mentally, or emotionally”. It would take a pretty extreme case (i.e., the kind not likely to actually arise in the real world.)
    The state does, generally, have the authority to remove children from homes which do not raise their kids in a state-approved way, and not only is this Constitutional, the Constitution is the justification. (The short version, you have rights, even as a very young person. The state may act to defend those rights for you, even if the person infringing them happens to be your parent. Parents have broad but not unlimited power to decide what’s best for you.)

  54. Stan Sep 11th 2017 at 09:31 pm 54

    “Do any such agencies have any authority to “step in”?”

    That’s at the heart of my original question. Is there nobody who would/could do this? It seems not.

    The idea of giving a truly offensive name to a child being a subtle form of child abuse, as JP suggests and I hinted at earlier, sits well with me. But still, who exactly would stop it? No one seems to know or there is no such agency.

    In any case, after this long discussion, I’m made my decision. My firstborn will be christened ‘5h1tfac3 D1ckh3ad the Turd”

  55. Arthur Sep 11th 2017 at 10:50 pm 55

    Check out the name of the boy and his siblings. I thought I
    remembered this incident, and a search brought up this page:

  56. larK Sep 11th 2017 at 11:09 pm 56

  57. James Pollock Sep 12th 2017 at 12:35 am 57

    “In any case, after this long discussion, I’m made my decision. My firstborn will be christened…”

    Your church, presumably, will have a say in that one.

    To clarify, I don’t think an awful name, BY ITSELF, would be enough to get child protective agencies to be involved. But I think a name awful enough to need action would be accompanied by other signs of abuse, which would, and the foster system would apply a non-awful name. But parents could apply an awful nickname, pretty much with impunity.

    Switching gears.
    During the time when I was married but childless, there was pressure, some subtle, some less so, to start making grandkids.

    So, I went to one of those novelty stores and bought the cardboard cutout of the crawling baby, and that was a Christmas present one year.

    Here’s the part that’s relevant… we said that we were looking for a good, STRONG name, one that conveyed strength and power from the beginning, and thus, the child would be named Genghis if a boy.

  58. Winter Wallaby Sep 12th 2017 at 12:58 am 58

    Stan #54: Well, as I said back @27, some states do have rules against obscenities in names, and I believe those could withstand constitutional challenge. So a name as you suggest @54 may well not be permitted by your state.

  59. Cidu Bill Sep 12th 2017 at 01:05 am 59

    I’m pretty sure the rules would indeed be upheld because they’re not prohibiting anybody from CALLING THE KID 5h1tfac3 D1ckh3ad the Turd, merely not accepting it on a state document.

  60. James Pollock Sep 12th 2017 at 01:34 am 60

    “I’m pretty sure the rules would indeed be upheld”

    I wouldn’t be so sure. There used to be a rule against registering “disparaging” trademarks, and it was successfully challenged on first-amendment grounds.

    (Interesting as an intellectual puzzle, because, of course, trademark registration isn’t about saying something, it’s about keeping other people from saying something. My opinion is that, because of that inversion, plus the fact that not being able to get trademark registration doesn’t actually prohibit you from putting whatever trademark you like on your product, prohibiting trademark registration for disparaging marks shouldn’t be a first-amendment issue. However, my opinion isn’t the one that matters.)

  61. Cidu Bill Sep 12th 2017 at 01:40 am 61

    I’m not sure how disparaging a trademarks has any relation to whether a state accepts your desire to register your own name as “5h1tfac3 D1ckh3ad the Turd”

  62. Winter Wallaby Sep 12th 2017 at 02:14 am 62

    Bill #59: While we reach the same conclusion, I don’t think it’s as straightforward as “merely not accepting it on a state document.” It’s not just any state document, but one that recognizes a choice that the parent has a right to make, and furthermore, a state document that your state may make you fill out (either effectively, or explicitly). I think a rule against obscenities would likely be upheld because it’s a narrow category that courts generally don’t view as targeting against any particular viewpoint. OTOH, I’m pretty sure a state would be constitutionally required to accept your choice of “Adolf Hitler [last name]” for your child onto state documents.

  63. James Pollock Sep 12th 2017 at 02:22 am 63

    “I’m not sure how disparaging a trademarks has any relation to whether a state accepts your desire to register…”

    Both hinge on whether or not Congress (or a state) can make a law that abridges the freedom of speech, or of the press, or of the ability to gather peaceably. The default answer is “no”.
    The official standard for when they can involves the state having a compelling interest that can be addressed in no other way. What, exactly, is the state’s interest in preventing you from naming your child whatever the hell name you want? Is it compelling? I don’t think the state has any interest in what you name your kid.
    (The state DOES act as the guarantor of your child’s rights, and you child may well have a right to not be named (moderation-bait), but… the child can choose his or her own name as soon as he or she is old enough to file paperwork at the courthouse.)

  64. Stan Sep 12th 2017 at 04:14 am 64

    “Your church, presumably, will have a say in that one.”

    The Ministry of the Flying Spaghetti Monster cares not about such things.

    “So a name as you suggest @54 may well not be permitted by your state.”

    Fine. Me and 5h1tfac3 will just move to a state that isn’t bothered about such things. Sadly, it seems there may be a lot of them judging from the discussions above.

  65. Kilby Sep 12th 2017 at 05:33 am 65

    @ Stan (23) - “…there are rules for licence plates and not babies…

    In a country in which many state governments automatically skip plates numbered “666″(*), out of deference to a “religion” from which they are supposed to be completely separate, it is not surprising that they prohibit the use of other explicitly (and subjectively) offensive terms on license plates. It seems logical that they would want to avoid guilt by association, since the state’s name also appears on the plate. Unfortunately, offensivity remains in the eyes (and linguistic capabilities) of the beholder. I once saw a Virginia plate that read “ISS MICH“, which is German for “EAT ME“. Clearly, the VA DMV has some limitations.

    P.S. Then there was the recent suspension of an Italian player from the U.S. Open, which was delayed a couple days until someone managed to translate the stream of epithets that he hurled in the direction of the chair umpire.

    P.P.S. German plates can (and do) use the number 666 (I’ve seen it more than once), but “vanity” plates here are extremely limited. The initial letters (1 to 3) are dictated by the area in which the car is registered, so all you can pick are the next couple letters (just one or two), followed by 1 to 4 digits, which doesn’t allow a lot of creativity.

  66. James Pollock Sep 12th 2017 at 09:44 am 66

    “The Ministry of the Flying Spaghetti Monster cares not about such things.”

    You must be one of those New Reading heathen. An Orthodox Pastafarian would never say this. His Noodly Words are Not To Be Reinterpreted.

    “In a country in which many state governments automatically skip plates numbered “666″(*), out of deference to a “religion” from which they are supposed to be completely separate,”

    They’re just saving themselves headaches and extra bureaucratic processing, because while the government is separate from religion, the population it serves is not. If they could be expected to receive complaints, demands, or refusal to display plates with that number of it, in substantial numbers, they cut down on their customer-service expenses by skipping over that particular number (and some naturally-occurring combinations of letters, too. I wouldn’t want to be offered “KKK 001″. My state still only has 3 letters + 3 numbers combinations on its plates, we don’t have to have 7 and all letters plates as our neighbor state does. I imagine there’s a LOT of exclusions that get skipped over when they issue plates.

  67. Mark in Boston Sep 12th 2017 at 09:22 pm 67

    The Roman Catholic Church encourages (requires?) a saint’s name as a person’s Christian name.

    So there should be no problem with naming your son or daughter Polycarp, Frumentius, Quadratus, Panacea, Pantaleon, Wicterp, Faro, Florida or Hunger.

  68. Stan Sep 12th 2017 at 09:43 pm 68

    Sorry, JP, Orthodox all the way. May I draw your attention to the following passage taken directly from the findings of The Enlightenment Institute in The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster:

    “A Celeological Argument, Landon W. Rabern, DEPARTMENT OF MATHEMATICS, UC SANTA BARBARA

    PROPOSITION 7. The creator made us for his pleasure.
    PROPOSITION 8. There is no pleasure to be drawn from us if we do not have free will.
    CONCLUSION 12. We have free will.”

    Thus, I should be able to name my kid whatever I want. “5h1tfac3 D1ckh3ad the Turd” it is!;)

  69. Dave in Boston Sep 13th 2017 at 12:21 am 69

    Massachusetts ostensibly has procedures in place to avoid issuing offensive license plate numbers, but this did not stop them a few years ago from creating a whole batch that ended in P00.

  70. Meryl A Sep 13th 2017 at 02:05 am 70

    In “Cheers” in one episode Carla’s son is being offered money to change his name per some family thing to Benito Mussolini and he does not understand why he should not do so

    My sister and her husband have the same first name - Randi and Randy. We call them girl Randi and boy Randy (now in their 50s). My mom was driving with their daughter (my niece obviously) when she was little. Mom was wondering and asked her what her parents names are. Mommy Randi and Daddy Randy. Robert kept pushing them to name their children Miranda and Randall. They did have some problems. She had to go back to her maiden name. When they did a credit check on them it would show he had 2 SSNs. and 2 jobs and she had neither.

    Elisabeth Röhm, was also in an episode of NCIS last year as National Park ranger.

    Let us not forget Moon Unit Zappa and her brother Dweezel Zappa.

    There is a large office building around here with the address of 666.

    When we got married I had planned to take my husband’s surname. I was in Macys and a woman ahead of me had a problem as she was in the middle of changing her name on everything as she had gotten married and she had a problem as her driver’s license was in one name and her credit card in another when they asked for additional ID. So I told Robert that I was going to change everything to a double last name and then when everything calmed down, make a second change to just his last name. 38 years later I still have the double name of course. This means that my driver’s license has my last names and my first initial. Credit cards have a variety of names depending on how and where they cut the name to fit on the card.

    I had my SSN card changed to just my first and his last name as back then there was no place on the returns for wife to have a different last name. My SSN card has this name printed on it. I suddenly realized, a couple of decades ago, that I was not getting my annual automatic record of SSN income records to check. I found out that Social Security somehow had the double name version of my name - even though it was never changed to same - and it did not match the single last name on my tax return. It took over 2 years and the help of one of our Senators to correct this!

    We are applying for senior citizen exemptions for real estate taxes. I have to fill in 5 forms for two types of exemptions (plus attachments). The form from our county wants our names as they appear on our deed. On same my name is shown with just his surname. One of the other forms goes to NYS to check our income against our income taxes. That shows my name as double last name (the only way to resolve the above problem). I am trying to find out if I need to put that on the NYS forms - I called today and they told me I have to ask the county assessor - which answers their telephone as “No one is available to take your call. Call back another time.” One time they added “Our address is… There is extremely limited parking in the lot.”

    My passport is just in his name as at one time a few decades back, I decided that I did not want my Jewish surname on same - and preferred his British sounding surname. (Though it is not the real family name. His grandfather went into the army in World War I as Giovanni Battista and came out as James . (As a result of this and his sister changing her name to her husband’s - we are the only ones in the family with this last name.)

  71. Mark in Boston Sep 13th 2017 at 08:26 pm 71

    Moon Unit Zappa grew up in California, and said that her name was not considered odd or unusual there.

  72. larK Sep 13th 2017 at 10:40 pm 72

    Many years ago I saw plates reading “GO NADS”, and I was flabbergasted that they had let that through. Forgot the state, but my only thought was that there must be a well known sports team in that state that goes by the name “Nads”…

    Recently I was in a Rose Test Garden and saw a variety of yellow roses that smelled of sweet rain called “Golden Showers”; now the funny thing is that I failed to notice anything wrong with that name (they are a golden flower smelling of rain), and my wife had me reconsider the name, at which point I was sure they were some high-fiving adolescent-at-heart prankster’s dream come true. I then looked up the variety and found they are from 1957, which predates the earliest known usage that the high-fiving adolescent would mean by some eleven years, so in the end it turns out the innocent explanation holds… So, go Nads, where ever you may play….

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