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Top Ten Funny Names in the News

Dear Members and Constituents,

Last week, as I sat in a hospital room reading the paper I had a realization: proper names can sometimes take-on unintended meanings in the feeble minds of the easily-amused (such as myself). Not quite sure what I’m talking about? I will illustrate my point with a sampling of actual names that grabbed my attention this past week.

Top ten funny names taken from recent media stories (or, as I like to say, what were their parents thinking?)

  1. Taco Stein. As I mused on the Aruban solicitor general and his dry cleaning tab (do taco stains come off?), I wondered how many people throughout history have shared his first name. Could it be that a popular fast food chain (which will go unnamed) was founded by a phone company heir -A.G. Bell’s illegitimate son, Taco?
  2. Julia Gillard. Is there a famous music school named after the Australian prime minister’s abbreviated name? (hint: it’s Jiulliard)
  3. Anna Hazare. Not that funny a name, you say. Maybe not, until you find-out this anti-corruption activist whose arrest has spurred protests all across India is not a woman, but a full-fledged man in his seventies.
  4. Jigme Thinley. I think the Bhutanese prime minister has it right. How else would one want to be jigged anyway? Thickley? I think not!
  5. Chip Saltsman. This high sodium deep-fried GOP strategist had me running for the vending machine to seek his namesake.
  6. John Key. There is an old joke that explains the theory of relativity as follows: the duration of a minute depends on which side of the John door you are. Now imagine, if like New Zealand’s prime minister you held the key. Now that’s true power, my friends.
  7. Heinz Fischer. I wonder what sort of fish can be found swimming in ketchup --and where do you find enough of it to go fishing? Unlike the Austrian president, I prefer to catch my fish in more traditional, crystalline media (i.e. water).
  8. Donna Shalala, If like this University of Miami president my school was under NCAA scrutiny for having a booster spend “millions on improper gifts, entertainment and travel for Hurricanes athletes”, I suppose I would want to cover my ears, close my eyes and… well, repeat her name a few times
  9. John Hickenlooper. The governor of our state of Colorado proves you don’t need a regal sounding name to win in the game of politics. John…
  10. Qaboos bin Said. Being named after the last wagon on the train is a sure sign the sultan of Oman must come from a numerous family (or perhaps they’re just railway aficionados). Enough Said (get it?).

While I don’t expect all of these to tickle your funny bone, my hope is you shared my amusement with at least one of them. If not, I have one final weapon in my bag of tricks: donuts. Four dozen, to be precise, courtesy of Thomas Eng who makes his debut as donut boy today. Come put a smile on your face, after the week you’ve had, I’m sure you deserve it!

Happy Friday!

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