It’s Not That Bad a Name

I’m bad at names. I don’t mean I won’t remember yours. I mean, I have whole drafts of manuscripts where characters are named things like tkbabysitter and tkserialkiller.

I have this persistent belief that somewhere, somehow… the perfect name is out there.

If I had children, they’d probably be named “Girl” and “Boy” and I’d just put away money so they can pick their own names when they grow up.

I was reading a news article. One of those hopeful, optimistic things where someone has cured Covid or cancer, or invented a less-invasive breast implant procedure.

The doctor had the same name as a torture killer who died in prison a few years back.

I don’t think the murders ever hit the national news, but the name hit me a little off kilter.

“No. I’m Doctor Charles Manson.”

Maybe there’s a Michelin starred chef out there whose name is Jeffrey Dahmer.

Are you the historian or the anthropologist?

Me? I have the same name as a sex therapist in a Midwestern city. (I only know that because I tried to get my name as a domain name.) I have the feeling that could make for hilarious misunderstandings at parties.

I like to do a quick google search of any names I’m thinking of using.

And down the rabbit hole I go.


  1. Reply

    As I remember, the Tate-LaBianca Murders (where the Manson “family” (I don’t think he was directly involved) murdered several people, including actress Sharon Tate) were quite a big deal nationwide. Are you talking about those?

    I like to look in old phone books for people named Hitler, Himmler, Goebbels, Mussolini etc.

    • Reply

      Oh, my! No. Nothing as famous as that. Just some happy, home-grown nut jobs from the eighties. I wouldn’t expect someone in the next state to know the name, much less nationwide, but I still cringed when I heard it on a doctor.
      I can definitely imagine every single Hitler in existence went out and changed their name in 1945. Really, the only thing to do at that point.

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