There was a time when I hated my name – Kyle. It drips with metro-sexuality and your kids already know this – Kyle was the man-boy chauffeur in Shrek 2. And growing up in the backwoods of Tennessee its lack of redneck made going to school just peachy. Southern drawls struggle to properly enunciate the ‘ayl’, which resulted in my extensive experience with diction correction. For the record it’s Kyle (kayhl), not Kale, Kule, Kele, Kole, or a variation thereof.
For boys with my name two things are guaranteed (1) He’ll never get picked first, but being in the middle of the alphabet often has its advantages. (2) He’s sure to be referred to as ‘cow’, ‘calf’, ‘cowboy’, or some other bovine related moniker. The latter of which I was fortunate enough to enjoy often in elementary school; but with time, higher education, and making friends with people who understand proper oral hygiene my distress over that given name eventually eased. By my college days the heifer link disappeared to be replaced with “Killer Kyle” – and at 120 pounds it had little to do with my menacing demeanor. Today that term of endearment only comes out at fraternity reunions with open bars.
When I discovered I was to have a son what to name him became a big deal. As the highlight reels of my youth started playing, I was determined to bestow a designation he wouldn’t rush downtown to change the first chance he got. And in my quest for perfection I devised four essentials that can make for a kick-ass boy’s name.
Had it been totally up to me I’d have named my son Steel. I mean seriously, who would ever mess with a kid named after iron-ore? Any Fortune 100 Company would hire him for the executive suite just so they could put his name on the annual report. And what girl wouldn’t date that guy? Cindy loves Steel.
Now before anyone starts to bow up and defend their Reginald, Pearson, Jensen, or Lawrence these were just my requirements. I’m sure you bundle of joy is still the greatest thing since sliced bread – he’ll just be the slice of bread that works for my slice of bread.
True story, when I was a sophomore in college I roomed in a dorm with 12 other guys. One of those roommates had arguably the worse name in recorded history – to the point of being immoral.
Norman Eugene Ledbetter
I’m not witty enough make that up. Twenty years later and I still remember Eugene (as he went by). A plant biology major he had this knack of sitting right in front of the TV and freakishly rocking back-and-forth without a word. It goes without saying he never brought a girl over. I’m convinced that today Eugene is either an Internet billionaire kicking it in Tahiti or he’s in a mental institution for life.
I couldn’t get buy-in on the metal alloy spinoff so we settled on something less dramatic – Grant. If it all should go south and he ends up managing a 7/11 in Milwaukee - at least he can’t blame it on his name.
And what better way to end this post than with the best song ever about a really bad name.