So here’s the tweet from Wayne confirming the new member of the Rooney clan, Klay, brother of course to young Kai. Krikey that’s one kooky moniker for a kid don’t you think? How on earth did they kome up with that krazy Khristian name? Do you think they may like watching ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ a banal US tv show about a family all seemingly christened with names beginning with the letter K (apart from the son who’s called Rob, of course)? What other explanation is there?
Well if you’re a regular reader you’ll know my liking for all sorts of odd and amusing names given to the likes of special edition cars, quintessential English villages, celebrity babies etc. On my many recent visits to Brighton to see the grandkids (they actually live on the border of Rottingdean and Saltdean to the east of the town), I’ve come across another rich source of merry monikers. After dropping the boys off at their Hove schools I tend to head back to my daughter’s place by going through Kemptown rather than endure the crawl along the sea front. This is the old mews area behind the grand Regency terraces and squares that fronted the eastern edge of old Brighton town and it’s a lively area with loads of small shops, bars, restaurants etc. To say it has a bohemian reputation would be an understatement. You’d be hard-pressed not to have a gay old time down Kemptown. Anyway I like the buzzy atmosphere even early in the morning and I invariably stop here to buy a paper, cup of coffee, some provisions and the occasional sausage sandwich. Now the place where I park is on a narrow side road, George St, because local wardens seem to ignore it, right across from a pub which I’m sure is called the Queens Arms. It’s an appropriate name because as the notices outside show, it is the epicentre for cracking karaoke nights and the best drag acts that breezy Brighton can offer. But it’s the stage names of the acts that always catch my attention because of the outrageous puns, rude malapropisms and their general suggestiveness. Examples include the quite lewd Betty Swollocks, the rather catty Kitty Litter, the unfortunate Miss Hap and the tasty sounding Lola Lasagna. If you know of any other drag artists’ names that press the ooh matron button, please let me know.
One of my favourite bits of the Simpsons is when Bart telephones Moe’s bar and gets Moe to shout out to his patrons ‘I’m looking for…Amanda Huggenkissme’ or some other spurious name designed to cause maximum embarrassment to the unsuspecting and dim-witted Moe. Admit it though, it’d be a tad more embarrassing to have to walk up to Moe to take the call and have to fess up to owning the shameful name. But surely nothing could be as bad as Bart’s fabricated handles…? Continue reading
Regular readers will be aware of my passion for crap car names (special editions in particular), interesting number sequencies and fascinating reference books. There’s another thing that intrigues me and that’s weird or at least unusual place names. It must be because I was brought up in a place called Poulton-le-Fylde or, as my old friend Colin calls it, somewhere unpronounceable up north. Continue reading
I had a fascinating lunch with my former boss and good friend Brian and lovely wife and also friend/ex-boss Sheila recently. We started at the 7th floor restaurant at Tate Modern, got half way through and had to leave it because of a fire alarm and evacuation. Because there was no sign of an early return, we wrote that lunch off and headed next door to the Globe theatre restaurant for part II, the cheese Bard. It was lovely to catch up guys and thank you B for picking up the tab. Some of you may recall the earlier blog about in-car entertainment; 3rd naming. It was all about my fascination with the crap names they sometimes bestow on cars. Brian came up with the Nissan named Cedric after Little Lord Fauntleroy. Now there may have been some healthy scepticism about something as preposterous as that but yesterday the Independent did a feature on the car named by the President of Nissan personally. Great contribution B and a fascinating feature on a car described as ‘tastefully muted Americana’ at IndyNews@inUK.co.uk (motoring section) if you’re interested.
Well it’s kinda nice to know that we’ve just had the 3000th visitor to the blog site. I’ve not had Rupert Murdoch itching to buy the site from me (nor perhaps more importantly from KG!) as yet but traffic’s developing which is great – thank you folks. Keep telling the odd mate about the site and I’ll keep writing about you in my memories. I’ve got a thing about numbers as it happens: I like big ones (Tate Online access figures used to give me the horn every month). I guess being a man that’s a given right? But I really, really like quirky numbers/arithmetic. Odd ball Paul, I know. Can’t help it. I was never great at maths at school but I’ve always been numerate and I love the preciseness, symmetry and the sheer serendipity in number occurrence, balance and sequencing.
During a car trip with top guy C today (better known by some of you as the commentator Charlie Cranium) to visit Birmingham City FC, we passed through the Shirley/Solihull area of Birmingham. C pointed out one of his favourite names for a small business, a Chinese restaurant known as The Shirley Temple. It’s true – go google if you don’t believe me. Bear in mind this is close to the former fish and chip shop known as Mustapha Fish. This got me thinking about all the amusing and often cringeworthy punning shop names I’ve noticed over the years and kinda forgotten. I know there’s another fish and chip shop in Aylesbury known as The Codfather, which I think is excellent, though probably not unique. An old friend of ours, Dennis, who set up his own pest control business had ‘Dennis the Menace…killer’ printed on his business cards. Top stuff. Hairdressing salons can’t resist the punny name A Cut Above, Hair Today, From Hair to Eternity, Sizzers and so on. But you guys must know some belters too? Come on indulge me.
Right, well absolutely no-one was interested in my lorry-spotting musings in in-car ent 3 so I’ve gone for a more popular way for several adults to kill an hour whilst stuck in traffic; your pet items to consign to room 101. It actually works really well with 3 or more folk involved, as I was last week travelling back to Brighton with my lovely daughter and son-in-law, E and S. Grandson S was happily focused on the tracks from the CD, Happy Songs (some classics, some dogs but I’m proud to say that at 5 he knows all the words to James Brown’s I Feel Good). Grandson G was fast asleep – probably dreaming about what it’ll be like to be all grown-up and to have so many things to hate.