When I started at the newspaper back in the Paleolithic era, I already was well-acquainted with the notion of journalists’ morbid sense of humor as a way of keeping sane in the midst of all the death and destruction they’re regularly assaulted with. Having worked at a TV station, I had employed same in dealing with the constant assault of video showing blood and gore (not to mention the backstabbing and other assorted indignities).
As a clerk, part of my duties included dealing with paid obits on weekends and holidays that I worked, and while most of the obits were a bit depressing and/or stuck to a script (Blah Blah of Blah, 87, passed away blah blah blah …), occasionally there was one that had to be read over and over because it was so unusual/freakin’ hilarious. One of my favorites is still the one that included the phrase “He went to be with the Lord and his lovely wife,” because, of course the Lord would have a lovely wife.
Turns of phrase like that made the truly sad obits (babies, couples, use of the obit by survivors as ads for their business, murder victims whose killers are listed in the survivors, etc.) a little easier to take.
One of the best/worst aspects is seeing all the horribly/wonderfully awful names some people are saddled with. Sometimes there’s a good story attached to the name (or depressing, depending on your perspective), such as the one about a woman named Female, whose mother thought the hospital had named her child (she pronounced it fu-maw’-lay). Most times, though, we’re left wondering just what the parents were smoking when they named their kids (Oklahomer? Diptheria? Cholera? Appliance? Shafungus?).
Years later when I was on the copy desk, I decided that when I was Queen of the World (oh, it’s coming), terrible names would have to be run by me before the kids are traumatized for life because their parents thought it would be funny to actually give their progeny the middle name Trouble.
Until my coronation, though, how about a simple rule? No naming of children until all drugs given to the mom (because we know women are generally more rational) during the birth have worn off.
Otherwise, there may be a whole lot more Females (or Babygirls).