Friday, August 14, 2009

Saint Bronx Mowgli

In the Catholic Church, it’s one of our traditions to name children after saints – more or less to have the blessed ones look over us through our lives. Not a bad idea, when you think of it, and I would be honored to be the heavenly guardian for a friend’s child when I hit the hereafter and look around for a job.

But we all know that’s not what happens. My parents wanted to do that, but the saint’s day they chose for my intended birth didn’t work; a borderline preemie, I landed on a perfectly holy African person’s day with a name never heard outside that continent. They meant well and chose two best friends’ names instead.

I wonder if Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz meant well when they named their child Bronx Mowgli Wentz. Bronx might be from the NYC Borough (named for “The Bronck’s,” who owned a farm long ago) and Mowgli is well-known from Kipling’s “The Jungle Book,” and means “frog” only in the stories’ jungle language.

Nicholas Cage and Alice Kim went with Kal-el Coppola. “Kal-el” was Superman’s maiden name, meaning “Star Child,” and maybe that explains the choice.

But where did Shannyn Sossaman and Dallas Clayton ever come up with “Audio Science” for their child? First day of school: “Hi, I’m Mike Clayton.”

Zowie Bowie, David’s kid. Speck Wildhorse, John Mellencamp’s. Really?


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