British comedian Eddie Izzard was reflecting on unfortunate names thus : “So what do we call our baby son so that he does not get the sh.. kicked out of him at school? OK, I got it. We’ll call him Engelbert Humperdinck. Yes, that’ll do it.”
But sometimes these monikers are self-inflicted. A former soldier from the United Kingdom who changed his surname to “Fu-Kennard” for a laugh found out, to his chagrin, that the joke was on him.
The former Kenny Kennard found out that England’s Passport Office took a dim view of his brand of humour and denied him a passport – three times in a row.
“They used to laugh at me in school when I said I would become a comedian,” the unfortunately-named prankster told pressmen. “But no one’s laughing now.”
The failed comedian 33, changed his name in 2016 and even got a driving license under his new surname.
But when his passport expired and he applied for a new one this year, his application was denied because his name “may cause offense.”
The former-soldier-turned supermarket worker from Cornwall has contested His Majesty’s Passport Office’s verdict three times — to no avail.
I read the above news item in the Star on Friday morning and it got me thinking. So I typed “embarrassing names” on Google and the list that emerged was jaw dropping.
With a name like Chris P Bacon you can conclude a couple of things immediately. One, the guy is probably not Jewish. And, two, you can bet your bottom dollar he won’t get served in a bar.
They usually don’t serve food in those places.
What were the parents thinking when they named their bouncing baby boy Mr Perv. The picture on the screen showed a smiling, balding man in his mid-40s who looked about as perverted as Tom Cruise looked like Quasimodo.
He was listed as a scientist. I’m reliably informed that he disliked Harry Potter and when comparing competing theories, he could usually be counted on to choose the one that didn’t involve any magic spells.
On the downside, he was also the one making nuclear weapons as if there’s no tomorrow.
We are told there is a Singapore national, now 19, whose race is Javanese and whose name is, less than fittingly, Batman bin Superman. His father must have loved those DC comics.
Then there is the distinguished doctor of neurology whose father must have known was destined for greatness. Not surprisingly, he was christened Lord Brain. But Mike Litoris cannot have been too chuffed with his parents by the time his first biology lesson rolled around.
Similarly I M Boring came out with a seminal book on the philosophy of Descartes. We are told that it combined the charm of a Lim Guan Eng budget speech with all the excitement of double entry bookkeeping.
I will end this droll, and hitherto true post with an equally true anecdote about one of my former neighbours, a retired Appeals Court Judge justly famed for his bon mots.
Said Judge was taking some friends from England to May Kian Fatt, a Chinese restaurant in Ampang New Village, famous for its seafood.
He takes one look at the signboard, does an exaggerated double take for the benefit of his friends and then stalks into the restaurant where he demands to see the proprietor.
Bewildered owner comes to see him.
Judge, waving his arms and gesturing at the signboard: “I say, that is all very well but, tell me….”
“…can May cook?”