(FeatureSource) About a month ago, a reporter from a popular weekly magazine called me.
"I'd like to interview you," he said. "What you think about some of the names that celebrities have picked for their children?"
"Well, I'm heating up some soup," I said. "Would you mind calling back later?"
"Sure. All I want to know is what you think of Fifi."
"Great name for a French poodle."
"That was the name Bob Geldof and his wife, Paula Yates, picked for their daughter."
"Oh. I wouldn't name a collie or golden retriever Fifi. I wouldn't name a canary or hamster Fifi, either."
"What would you say if I told you that Fifi's middle name was Trixiebelle?"
"I'd say that Bob and Paula weren't overly concerned about the impression that the name Fifi Trixiebelle will have on the poor child's psyche on her first day of kindergarten. The teacher will say, 'Fifi Trixiebelle Geldof,' and Fifi will say, 'I'm not here and you'll never see me again until my parents change my name.' "
"I have another question."
"I'll comment on a few more names until my soup starts to boil."
"OK, what do you think of Brooklyn?"
"Nice bridge, but I wouldn't want to live there."
"No, I mean as a name. Posh Spice and her soccer-star husband, David Beckham, gave that name to their child."
"Oh. Son or daughter?"
"No idea. All I know is Posh and David have a kid named Brooklyn Beckham."
"Nice alliteration. The thing about place names is that some work and some don't. Here's one I kind of like: Paris."
"Interesting you should say that. Michael Jackson named his daughter Paris."
"I seem to recall that the girl's name is Paris Michael Katherine Jackson. Adding 'Michael' detracts from whatever charm 'Paris' may convey. But as far as place names, I also think Rio works."
"Sean Young used that."
"Judd Hirsch used that."
"Jimmy Buffet used that."
"OK, the soup's boiling. Are we done?"
"Almost. I've got a few more. What's your take on Matalin?"
"Doesn't do much for me. Isn't that the name of the Republican speechwriter who married James Carville?
"Yes, Mary Matalin. She and James named their daughter Matalin Mary Carville."
"Talk about ego trips. If she ever uses her maiden name, people might start calling her daughter Matalin Mary Matalin."
"I wonder why so many of the names that celebrities pick for their babies are so..."
"Outrageous? I get the impression that some celebrities may have picked their babies' names while under the influence. Others may have turned the chore over to their publicity agent. While some are well on their way toward setting new trends."
"The one who wears dead geese instead of clothes? Well, she named her boy Sindri. Also, LL Cool J named his son Najee. I don't think those are going to be hot naming trends in the foreseeable future."
"Any advice for celebrities about naming babies?"
"Pretty much the same advice I'd give any parents. The main idea is to pick a name that will give your child a head start in life - a name your child will feel good about that will make a positive impression on others. In my opinion Rio and Savannah do that, but Fifi and Matalin don't. Brooklyn could go either way, but remember that Spike Lee directed a movie about that borough and called it 'Crooklyn.' Anyway, I really have to go. My soup's boiled over and I've got a big mess on my hands."
"OK, thanks. I'll send you a tear sheet of the interview when it's published."
I'm still waiting.