Saturday, July 18, 2009

What's in a Name? or, Spellbound

My wife and I have four children, and I feel confident in saying that none of them have extraneous letters in their names. This makes us outcasts in a place like Mississippi, where being original in naming your children means shoving as many silent, useless letters as you can into each name. Or just making up a new spelling altogether. There's this one kid I know named Bayleigh. Seriously. I also know/have heard of Ashleigh, Braedan, Maxx and Madeleine.

And I have a friend named Geoff who doesn't understand why his folks didn't spell it Jeff. As he recently wrote on his Facebook page, "people from kindergarten to elderly routinely mangle my name, sometimes even asking me why I spell it that way, as if I popped out of the womb with a crumpet in one hand, quill in the other, and demanded, with an aristocratic air, that I be Jeff with a G."

I don't necessarily have a problem with how people spell their kids' names, but as Geoff can attest, they're setting them up for a lot of frustration down the road. And not just them, but the people who will unwittingly misspell these names on legal documents or in box scores. I mean, how else could you possibly spell Brittany? You'd be surprised: Brittni, Britni, Britney, Brittani … I've run across all of these spellings – and probably others – in my time as a journalist, because it seems a lot of girls with that name play high school sports.

I've never been crazy about androgynous names, either, but they're en vogue: Ashton, Carter, Madison, Peyton/Payton. I can't really talk, because my son's first name could also be used for a girl.

What happened to good old Southern names? Actually, they're still around, but they come in pairs. Sarah Beth, Anna Catherine, James Henry – and that's cool, but sometimes such a trend is annoying simply because it's a trend.

Maybe I'm this way about names because my sisters and I were given simple, easy-to-spell names. Just to screw with people, maybe I should start going by Bradleigh.

Today's Redneck Thought: "And if I ever have a son, I think I'm gonna name him … Bill or George, anything but Sue! I still hate that name!" – Johnny Cash, "A Boy Named Sue"

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Redneck Easter; or, Making Do

I know, I've been a deadbeat blogger again. I've got a couple of things I want to write about, but right now I'm at work. But I ran across something I must share, via FAIL Blog. It's what happens when a divorced guy gets his girl Easter weekend and then realizes that she wants to hunt easter eggs (I'm assuming that's what happened). No telling what's in those eggs, either.

Here it is. Good grief.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Women & Guns; or, Don't Make Me Call My Sister

Growing up, I would sometimes get into a tiff with my younger sister, Rachel. Yes, shocking, I know. But she always started it.

Anyway, I'll admit that I was not always the clear victor in these tussles, because she cheated. Well, that, and she's pretty tough. Nowadays it's her job, if the situation calls for it, to kick somebody else's butt. She's in the Air Force and owns many guns, which makes her awesome (on top of her intrinsic awesomeness; I mean, she is related to me). She's stationed in Germany but is stateside for a few weeks as she prepares for her second deployment to Iraq. So I got to see her last week.

And how did we bond? By cleaning our guns, of course. Well, she did most of the cleaning. I hadn't cleaned my Ruger 9mm in so long that dust had collected in the barrel. Heck, I haven't shot the thing in years. Sad, I know. Like leaving a brand-new car in the garage.

My son, being 5 and male, was eager to "help" us clean the guns (as seen above). We even let him hold them, all the while stressing safety, of course. That's the problem with people and guns these days – too many people who don't respect guns and their power own them. No amount of government screening will keep all such idiots from buying them, I'm afraid.

OK, mini-tangent over. Point is, you don't want to mess with my sister. Really, you don't want to mess with most Southern women, especially the ones who pack heat. My dad has told many a time the story of my late grandmother running off some strangers with her pistol. This is the same woman who could wring a chicken's neck – with one hand. I was young when she died, but I knew enough not to cross her.

We Southern guys like to act tough, but I'm not ashamed to say it: You mess with me, and I'll call my sister.

Today's Redneck Thought: "I'm gonna show him what little girls are made of/Gunpowder and lead." – Miranda Lambert, "Gunpowder and Lead"