What's In A Name? Plenty.

AROUND THE RIM COUNTRY

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It shouldn't surprise anybody that the names people give their kids continue to evolve.

Back in the days of cave men, names like Sam, Edna and Herman were common. Then came the colonial period when people sported names like George, Patrick and Martha.

During the first half of the 20th Century, people named their children Bill, Susie and Alice. As the century drew to a close, names like Jared, Ashley and Kyle came into vogue.

And now a new trend is developing in this ever more materialistic world of ours. According to an article by Jenny Deam in the Denver Post, people are now naming their children after prized possessions -- such as Car, Hiking Boots or Can of Peas. Really.

Deam explains how a psychology professor named, of all things, Cleveland Evans, hooked up with a Social Security researcher to analyze the names of the 4 million babies born in 2000. What they discovered is that a lot of kids are being named after brand names, including 55 Chevys, 25 Infinitis, 164 Nauticas, 298 Armanis, and, get this, seven DelMontes (as in cans of peas).

Were I in a position to name any modern-day children, I would consider the following:

  • Arm & Hammer -- for the son of a carpenter.
  • Ben-Gay -- for the (adopted) child of alternative lifestyle parents.
  • Guess! -- for the child whose parents didn't want to know his or her sex in advance.
  • Hasbro -- for the child whose only sibling is a brother.
  • Jockey Shorts -- for the offspring of short but athletic parents.
  • Speedo -- for the child born premature.
  • Spic and Span -- for twins born of parents who are clean freaks.

Up here in the Rim country, of course, we live by a whole different set of rules and values. We're more likely to name our children after products like Copenhagen, Hamburger Helper, Jack Daniel's, El Camino and Spam.

To check out this premise I contacted a secret mole deep within the bowels of Payson Regional Medical Center. In the tradition of truly great journalism, I named my source Deep Bedpan (DB).

Since Payson doesn't have any parking garages to meet in, we arranged to bump into each while strolling around Green Valley Lake. It went something like this:

(Bump!!)

Me: Ow!

DB: Ow!

Me: Deep Bedpan, I presume.

DB: Shhhh! Keep your voice down.

Me: Nobody can hear us over these darn geese. Did you get the baby names out of the hospital's records?

DB: Yes, I photographed them with my tiny spy camera. They're all here.

Back at the office I closed the blinds and loaded the photos into my computer. One after one they blinked to life on the screen, revealing that Payson and the Rim country has indeed followed the trend of naming its offspring after prized possessions and brand names.

Of course, the names chosen by Rimaroos are unique to our special lifestyle. Sprinkled among the more traditional Rim country names, the Bubbas, Jimbos, Juniors, Billy Bobs and Nadines, were the following:

  • Wal-Mart -- Why not. Along with the Rim, it dominates our landscape and our world.
  • Wally World -- This town ain't big enough for two kids named Wal-Mart, so this is a hipper variation on a theme.
  • Burp -- For the child who was an accident.
  • Ox Bow -- This kid is probably a strapping lad.
  • Bunhead -- Darn it, there I go again. This is completely off the subject, but you know how Packer fans strap cheese on their heads. How about a Rim country souvenir bun prosthetic that you strap on the back of your head?
  • Spit -- Another that needs no explanation.
  • Pickup -- Let's hope this isn't a girl.
  • Shotgun -- Imagine this conversation between two teens. "I got shotgun." "No you don't, I AM Shotgun."
  • August Doin's -- The perfect name for a child conceived on rodeo weekend.
  • Beeline -- Hey, I don't choose the names. I only report them. Besides, this little girl will one day be known to somebody as Aunt Beeline.

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