If it really is "all in the name," then everyone everywhere was put at a severe disadvantage last week when a 27-year-old New Zealand man discovered he'd legally changed his birth name. Ladies, meet Full Metal Havok More Sexy N Intelligent Than Spock And All The Superheroes Combined With Frostnova.
As the New Zealand Herald tells it, Mr. Frostnova drunkenly applied for the name change after losing a prop bet during a card game five years ago. But he only recently learned the change had gone though when he was renewing his passport. New Zealand law states that he also must change his name on his driver's license and other official documents, and that he must keep the name for three years, at which time it's a fee of 127 New Zealand dollars, which converted to U.S. currency is about 12 bucks and a Lord of the Rings trilogy set on VHS. Although I can't think of any reason on Earth why he would want to do that.
When you tell a group of girls at a bar that your name is Full Metal Havok More Sexy N Intelligent Than Spock And All The Superheroes Combined With Frostnova, well, let's just say the floor might get a little slippery from the simultaneous, violent undergarment detonation.
He could even shorten it to something like Full Metal More Sexy Frostnova, which immediately commands respect. If I'm deciding to buy a house or get insurance or purchase a used car, I'm going with a salesman with a name like that. Sorry, "Jim Hoskins," but you've been outbid on the project — outbid by a denomination of mind-blowing awesomeness!
Honey, we really need to call a plumber about that busted pipe.
[Opens phone book, scrolls down list of names.]
Yep, I found our guy. [Slams phone book shut.]
Sure, it might be a pain in the ass having to explain the story behind the name to everyone, all the time, but that's a small price to pay.
And really, what does it matter? People — especially famous ones — changing their names to new, completely ridiculous monikers is nothing new. In fact there are few rappers who haven't. Puff Daddy to P Diddy to Diddy. The late ODB to Big Baby Jesus. Nasir Jones to Nas to Nasty Nas to Nas the Esco to Escobar to Nastrodamus, and then back to Nas. For rappers it's almost a rite of passage. Lil' Wayne's nom de plumes alone would take up most of this page.
Then there are athletes, of course. Ron Artest to Metta World Peace. Lloyd B. Free to World B. Free. Chad Johnson to Chad Ochocinco, because he's a moron. Marvin Hagler legally becoming Marvelous Marvin Hagler, which is incredibly hip.
The Islamic tradition of name-changing is another big one. You have Lew, Cassius and Cat becoming Kareem, Muhammad and Yusuf.
Entertainers are a no-brainer because most all of them make some sort of name alteration. My favorite and one of the most well known being Prince's switch to a symbol, and then everyone just calling him The Artist Formerly Known as Prince, which clearly is the coolest handle ever.
Examples aside, Full Metal More Sexy Frostnova's bitchin' new sobriquet got me thinking: What should some of my fellow Richmonders change their name to? Naturally, I have a few ideas:
• Mayor of Richmond the Rev. Dwight Jones becomes The Right Rev Dwight Downtown Ballpark Godfather of The Double Windsor & Double Johnnie Blue On The Rox Two-Steppin' Jones, because have you met our mayor?
• Members of the cover band Three Sheets to the Wind should go ahead and legally become their alter soft-rocking egos at this point. Because Topper Dandy, Captain Max Power, Walter Ego, Danny Mariner, Sonny Pocket and Bobby Bravado are infinitely cooler names than, well, whatever the hell their real names are.
• Every Richmond weatherman and weatherlady becomes Media Hype-Building Completely Inaccurate Weather Model Facebook Posting Forecasters Of Frigid Doom & Frozen Death This Winter. I'm looking at you, Freiden.
• Style Weekly Editor in Chief Jason Roop becomes Stylez J. Roop There It Is.
• Richmond City Councilwoman Kathy Graziano becomes Dame Judi Dench.
• Richmond.com's Karri Peifer becomes Barroom Bootlicker or Saloon Sycophant, or maybe just Wino Winter-hater. I'm torn because they all have such a nice ring to them.
• NBC-12 anchor Sabrina Squire becomes, wait, never mind. Don't alter that one. Same for 8 News' Juan Conde and CBS-6's Bill Bevins.
Some names were just destined for greatness from the womb. That's like asking Shaka Smart to change his name, which is pure, unadulterated blasphemy!
Well, come to think of it, Shaka Full Court Havoc Smart isn't bad.
Connect with Richmond bartender Jack Lauterback at firstname.lastname@example.org. Lauterback also is co-host of "Mornings with Melissa and Jack" on 103.7 Play weekdays from 6-9. On Twitter @jackgoesforth.