Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Not That I Believe in Fate, But...

It must be nice to know from birth what you're going to do with your life, if it's something good. Consider a young child, maybe seven years old.
"Mum, has anybody traveled on foot to the South Pole before?"
"Yes, dear."
"What about the North Pole?"
"Yes, dear."
At this point, young Stirling Mortlock would have known he was destined to become the captain of the Wallabies. Nobody goes to see their local GP, Stirling Mortlock. Stirling Mortlock doesn't ask you to fill out form 183b and go to the queue on the left. No, Stirling Mortlock either leads Arctic expeditions or scores tries for his country. Don't believe me? Say the name out loud. You will almost certainly follow it with "wins the World Cup for Australia," before you know what's happening.

Similarly, war correspondent (and I'm guessing American intelligence asset) Ace Billingsley Jr was never going to sell secondhand Volkswagens to nice looking immigrant couples. The fact that nobody needs daredevil zeppelin pilots any more left him destined to have a camera in one hand and a dusty map of Afghanistan in the other.

These people must look with pity on those of us with names that imply nothing, the Fred Jones's and Kate Smith's of the world. People that must make decisions based on their circumstances, on random twists of fate, on their abilities. So please, those of you with names that can be great (Dibley leads inexorably to Duane, and nobody wants that), you Mortlocks and Billingsleys, give your children the gift of a fateful name. But be careful, it can go the other way, Slobodan Milosevic practically rhymes with war criminal.


  1. I'm going to name my first boy Cougar Maverick.
    Anyone who picks on him is going get mauled and/or mach 2'd.

  2. I don't know Bice, I think "Hieronymous Dibley" has a certain grandeur.

    Thanks though, this made me laugh.

  3. I was disappointed to find out that Henry Hatsworth was not a Toffish solver of mysteries, sporting a handlebar mustache, a wonderfully condescending accent and a large library/smoking room.


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