Monday, June 20, 2011

The One About Bad Fortunes and Ugly Ponies

When you find a career that you really love, you can usually look back on your life and see that it was something you were always good at, even when you didn’t realize you could get paid to do it. Like an artist whose very first finger-painting in kindergarten could rival Monet or Van Gogh, or the recreational skier who grows up to be an Olympic medalist. I have always been a writer but it took me a long time to realize that I could make a living doing it. But there was always this one other thing that I was really good at, and until yesterday, never realized I could turn into a marketable skill. And that is naming things.

As a child, I regularly changed the names of my stuffed animals as I came up with new and better ones. I also had the names of my future children picked out well before I was of the child-bearing age and I used to rename myself weekly, demanding my friends and family call me whatever name I thought was the coolest at the time. That usually didn’t work out so well, except for the time in high school when it worked for three and a half years. (Oh yes it did!) Picking a title has always been my favourite part of writing, whether it’s a short story, article or blog post. Many friends over the years have let me name their projects for school, Dawson lets me choose the titles for his scripts, and sometimes when she’s in a good mood Wendy will let me name her blog posts too.

And so it’s because of all of this that I think I should go into business as an official namer of things. I could help people name streets, books, movies, companies, pets, babies and so on. Just yesterday I came up with the title of my first book: Soggy Brownies and Hookers. Don’t even try to tell me you wouldn’t read that. I think I’ll call my naming company You Name It. Get it? It’s ironic because you actually won’t be naming anything because that’s my job. Duh.

My first order of business as an official namer of things will be to offer my services to My Little Ponies. Whoever is currently naming ponies must have a B.A. in Sucking because there are ponies called Alphabittle and Bunches-o-fun and Brights Brightly. Brights Brightly? Really? I totally see where you got that from, you know, because the symbol on that pony is a brights brightly. Oh wait. I forgot that that’s not a thing. The symbol is a sun with hearts. So how about Sundrop? Or rip off the Care Bears and call it Bright Heart. They don’t have to be rocket science, but they do have to make sense. And although my drawing skills are a little lacking, I think I could help them out in the design area. You see, back in the day MLP looked cute and normal and pony-ish.But for some unknown reason, the powers that be decided the latest incarnation of MLP should look like short, anorexic aliens with big heads. Like thisAnd that, my friends, is some messed up shit. Maybe I wouldn’t be so much of a designer as someone who stands there and says ‘Don’t do that. You’re stupid.’

Once You Name It has established itself and made me a small but comfortable fortune, I’ll branch out into other things, like writing fortune cookies. Because let’s be honest, fortune cookies have been lacking lately. They say things like you are a magnificent light to those in your life. That’s nice and it’s good for self-esteem, but that’s not a fortune. A fortune is something like don’t marry him – he is a DOUCHEBAG. Or, if you use the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42 to win the lottery your plane will crash and you’ll be stuck on an island with Matthew Fox for the rest of your life. Don’t those sound more useful to you? Maybe useful is the wrong word. Maybe they’re just more fun. Either way, it’s still better than you are a magnificent light to those in your life.

Another part of the company will oversee writing Kijiji ads for people. That is a market just waiting to tapped. (That’s what she said!) I’m not talking about the buy and sell sections because, quite frankly, if you’re going to sell me a swing set and slide for $50, I don’t care how badly you misspelled ‘play structure.’ But when I’m looking for a make-up artist for my wedding, I want someone who is a professional, not a ‘perfessional’ and certainly not a ‘peofessional.’ I’m not totally sure what those even mean, but I suspect it has something to do with drugs.  I would also like someone who knows the basic functions of a comma, question mark and period, and knows that exclamation marks should be used sparingly. I know none of these points directly pertain to make-up, but if you can’t tell that ‘Are you a modern bride looking for a chic look?’ is a question and not a statement, how am I supposed to trust that you know the correct uses for make up? I don’t want to end up with mascara as lipstick on my wedding day.

I don't know why it only just occurred to me go into business as a namer of things. Had I done it sooner, I could have saved many celebrity children from the lifelong backlash they will receive from both paparazzi and kids on the playground. Sorry about your luck, Apple. And for the record, I still would have encouraged the creators of Cougar Town to call the show Cougar Town because it's an awesome name and it really is okay to watch a show called Cougar Town


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