What’s In A Name?

What’s in a name?  Well, if it’s like many of the names young parents are coming up with recently, there’s a whole lot of potential for teasing.  I recently read an article on-line that listed some of the top baby names that we would be seeing in 2016.  I could not believe when I read one of them, Kale.  Really?  You’re going to name your child after lettuce?  Yes, at least it is one of the more nutritious breed of leafy green vegetables, but still…it’s lettuce.  I guess if a certain actress can name her child after a piece of fruit, why not a vegetable, and a trendy one to boot?

Being the self-proclaimed nerd that I am, I was curious to see what a classroom full of children named after various types of lettuce would look like, and let me tell you, it will be one awesome salad!  Roll call just might be too much excitement for an avid vegetarian.  You would see the more commonplace leaves, Iceberg (cue quotes from “Titanic”), Arugula, Radicchio, Romaine, and Bibb.  Meet the twins, Crisphead and Butterhead whose parents should be given the Worst Parents of the Year award for basically enabling bullies to be lazy…they won’t even have to try to make fun of those names.  I pity the child who must live life (at least until he is able to legally change his name) as Little Leprechaun, although no one will ever be at a loss for a cute nickname for Little Lep.  The child christened, Devil’s Tongue, must have been a little imp even before he was born to warrant a name like that.  And coming to the last name on the menu, I mean roster, Hyper Red Rumple (yes…that is an actual type of lettuce).  Do I even need to comment on this one?

Obviously, I am being quite silly here, but if we step back and look at some of the names that babies are coming home with, is Endive really that far out there?  For the most part, I believe that the driving force behind the trend for outrageous names is a desire for these children to stand out and have unique names.  These parents most likely do not want their child to get lost in a sea of ten other Olivia’s, Sophia’s, Liam’s, and Noah’s (I myself was in a class of four Megan’s at one time, in a grade school class which included less than twenty girls), however I do believe there is such a thing as TOO unique, and if you ask me, that thing is the name Kale.

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Wanted…Schizophrenic Deer

Deer. Dear me.  I’m sure there is a purpose for them outside of being the bane of many a person’s existence.  I’m still trying to figure out what exactly the purpose is, though.  While I fully acknowledge (and dislike) that we as humans have taken away much of the deer’s habitat and continue to do so, I also must acknowledge how utterly brainless deer appear to be.  The proof of their brainless-ness?  The amount of accidents that deer cause and the amount of lifeless deer bodies (in various stages of dismemberment) that litter many a road’s surface.   Between dead deer, squirrels, birds, skunks, and bunnies, it’s a veritable obstacle course out there.

I think most of us have at least one deer story. Many involve them leaping out of nowhere and disappearing back to the abyss they seemingly came from like ghost deer, sometimes leaving considerable damage to our unsuspecting vehicles in their wake.  I have to wonder what possesses them to seemingly leap, dart, and sprint to an almost certain death.  Are they suicide bombers sacrificing themselves for the good of all deer-kind?  Are they daredevil deer, seeking a thrill where there is a 90 percent chance that they might not make it out alive?  Whatever the case, I am convinced that deer are crazy.

About a week ago, I was on my way to my usual Saturday morning Pilates class, innocently driving at a speed of 25 mph along a very narrow road in a wooded area. I always have in the back of my mind that there is a high probability that I will encounter at least one deer along this stretch of road.  In the fourteen years that I have been passing along this road, I have never met a deer.  Until last week.  As I crested the hill, I saw him in all his crazy glory.  He just stood there in the middle of the road.  Staring.  Blankly staring.  Blankly staring at me.  It was rather unsettling.  I had come to a stop, but as I slowly inched forward, Mr. Deer seemed to snap out of his trance a little.  He spastically darted over to the left and tentatively placed two hooves up on the hillside, making me believe he was going to climb up it so I could go merrily on my way.  Nope.  He backed down and moved an inch to his right, repeating the same movements he had a moment ago.  Obviously not liking this option either, he jerks around to face me again, crazed look in his eyes.  At this point, about 3-4 minutes have passed by, and I am starting to get a bit impatient, so I start yelling at the deer like he can hear me or understand me, “COME ON YOU STUPID DEER!!!!  MOVE!!!!!!!”  I flash my lights at him, and this seems to break his possibly drug-induced psychedelic reverie.  He darts back and forth a couple of times, giving me reason to believe he may be border-line schizophrenic.  Before shooting over to the right side of the road (since the left was not to his liking) he stares me down one more time.  “COME ON DEER!!!!!!!!!  MAKE UP YOUR MIND!!!!!!  GET OUT OF MY WAY!!!!!”  He flings himself over to the guard rail and places a tentative hoof atop it, but like the tease he is, puts the hoof back down.  He repeats this move two more times and finally hurls himself over the guard rail and, I pray, down the hill.  Given this particular deer’s unpredictability, I am hesitant to continue along lest he has an entire posse of schizophrenic ninja deer just waiting to attack my car.

I let another minute elapse, garner my courage, and slowly proceed. Luckily, this deer that quite possibly should belong in a straitjacket must have disappeared.  I had no further encounters.  Shockingly, my car and I escaped this unexpected meeting unscathed with a rather comical story to tell.  But just a word of warning…keep your eyes out for a schizophrenic ninja deer.  You never know when or where he might appear.