There are some cruel parents in the world. Sure there are those who beat, abuse, abandon, ignore, and countless other things to their kids, but I’m talking about those parents who willingly give cruel names to their children. You know, like Mr. and Mrs. Knight who named their son Jed I. Or Mr. and Mrs. Tinkle who named their daughter Ivana. Some people look admiringly at parents like that and laugh along with them, but I look at the poor child and weep with him. “There, there, Doctor Love. Don’t cry, Anna Graham. Forgive them, Penny Nichols.”

It’s tough sometimes to be understanding when parents name children something that no one else will ever spell correctly. Or pronounce correctly. I know that the craze today is to spell a child’s first name in all kinds of strange ways, but some people go over the top. Being unique is fine, but how do you spell Michael? Michel? Mykel? Mikel? M’Ikell? Mycul? How many apostrophes are allowed in one name? Can you include a pronunciation chart for school teachers?

I’m sure there are many kids who survive having a funn… er, unique name. Indycar driver Will Power seems to be doing just fine. Dr. Les Plack, a dentist in San Francisco, had a successful practice for more than 30 years. Chip Munk is an insurance agent in Kansas. A funny name won’t doom a baby to failure. Show business people sometimes change their names to make them memorable. Did you see last year’s concert in Van Wert by Christopher Charles Geppert? When he wanted a little fame, he decided to go by the name Christopher Cross. Certainly more memorable.

The reason why all this is on my mind is a website I ran into this week. It’s simply called,, and it is a site begun by someone who is expecting a baby girl in April. Anybody and everybody can vote on the baby’s first and middle name, and that the names with the most votes will be chosen as long as mommy and daddy agree. There are many fine names the list of nearly 5,200 first names. There are many fine names on the list of more than 1,400 middle names. But this is the Internet, so the current leader for first names is Cthulhu and the current leader for middle names is All-Spark. Cthulhu is a monster from the deep from a 1928 short story. All-Spark is something from the movie The Transformers. So right now, the leading name is Cthulhu All-Spark McLaughlin. Yeah. She won’t get beat up on the playground or ignored at the school dance or mocked in the hallways between classes or anything. What kind of parent would trust the Internet and it’s deranged citizens with the responsibility of selecting the name you are going to saddle your daughter with?

In case you think it’s just that one lousy name on the list, also listed in the top twenty vote-getters are the names Megatron, Zelda, Riemurasia, Slagathor, Not Zelda, and Pond. The only positive news I found about Mr. McLaughlin is that he is refusing to use a name his wife will not accept. Thus, there will be no Wackytaco692 McLaughlin in the class of 2032. I’ve been through the list of names, and there are plenty worse than Wackytaco692. A few of the names are cute (April, Lily, Amelia, Olivia). Others are obvious jokes (Chernobyl, Pancake, Stormageddon, HoneyBooBoo). Some make you wonder about the sanity of people in general (McLovin, Playstation, Watermelon, Spuds Potato). All these names were in the top 100 on the voting. You don’t want to know what else is on this list.

Maybe I’m too old school. I miss the days when I could spell the first names of kids in a first grade class. I still relish the mentality that the name Hypnotoad should not even be suggested as a baby name, let alone be number 77 on anyone’s list. I can’t stand the thought of someone being given a name at birth that has no vowels. So I’m bowing out. I’ll be having dinner with my buddies, TurboUltra, Puddin’, Loodidoo, and Quackadilly.