Tuesday, August 08, 2006


A few days ago, I wrote about how I get fixated on names. In fact, a version of that blog entry will probably be published as my column this Saturday in the paper.

Two completely unrelated names currently stuck in my brain are Jack Straw, Leader of the House of Commons in England, and King Lumpkin, a local businessman. These two people have no association whatsoever, except in my head, where they are the two main characters in a fairy tale:

. . . and so Jack Straw, with broomstick hair and impish gait, ambled down the cobblestone road selling his tarts and Danishes until he came to Sugar Puff Village, where grumpy King Lumpkin had banished all pastry delights because an evil old lady had tried to bake him in a pudding when he was just a boy.

“Jack Straw” is also the name of a Grateful Dead song and the other name of the children’s game “Pick up Sticks.” So I guess you could play both “Jack Straws” simultaneously by jammin' to the song while playing the game.

Two other odd names of real people: Kynda Boring, a young woman who goes to my church, and one of my mom’s elementary teachers, Miss Titsworth. Yes, you read that correctly. And my mom would not lie about that for two reasons; one, she’s eighty, and eighty year-old moms don’t lie, and two, she won’t even say “pee” or “poop,” so “Titsworth” is out of the question as a flippant joke. Miss Titsworth was for real. Nowadays, I’m sure she wouldn’t be.

Finally, two names are etched in my brain from childhood when Carol Burnett met two women in her studio audience who purported to be named, “Theresa Renterea” and “Nancy Ann Cianci.” There really is, or was, a Nancy Ann Cianci, the wife of the former mayor of Providence, RI. Imagine going through life answering to Nancy Ancy Ancy?

Speaking of Carol Burnett, I have a theory that Jerry Seinfeld is her lovechild. Look at the resemblance and note the comedic flair. Coincidence? I think not. (Maybe Co-in ci-den ci-ency)

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