It is the policy of this modest and much-beloved columnist to give you in-depth analysis of the really important issues taking place in our nation. I will leave presidential politics to The New York Times writers, who think their sweat doesn’t stink, and that guy on MSNBC who looks like the Pillsbury Doughboy. Here, we cover just the big stuff.
For example, did you know that the most popular boy’s name in Georgia is “William”? That is according to the Social Security Administration, based on applications for Social Security cards.
What the bureaucrats in Washington fail to pick up on is that in the great state of Georgia, we are more inclined to two names. Forget what we put on a card. Around here, William more likely becomes Billy Bob — not to be confused with Jim Bob — so as to alert us that this is a native — one of us — and not somebody who snuck over the Mason-Dixon line from Detroit city. Think there are a lot of Billy Bobs in Detroit city? Think again.
Of course, we are so politically correct these days that some weenie in one of the make-work commissions in Washington will probably get the name banned because they deem it offensive to illegal immigrants. (Oops! Did I say that? I meant undocumented immigrants. My bad.) Only white guys can be called Billy Bob.
I know we live in changing times, but some of the names that are being given to boy babies these days would have likely gotten you in some degree of difficulty with the guys I ran around with at school named John and Tommy and Charlie. (“Hi, fellows. I am Sebastian. This is my friend, Kingston. Anybody for dodgeball? Why are you looking at us like that?”)
The Social Security Administration says the most popular girl’s name in Georgia is Olivia. That is not surprising. The greatest retail clerk in the history of the world is named Olivia. She works at our local pharmacy. I buy lot of shampoo there just to see her smiling face. If you millennium mamas are thinking of naming your child Olivia, be sure they smile all the time and have a great attitude.
Ava had been the top name among Georgia females for a couple of years, but as we say in Tweeterville, it seems to be trending down. The only Ava I ever knew was Ava Gardner, and I really didn’t know her. I just saw some of her movies.
On the wild chance that our federal government might have screwed something up (insert joke here), I assumed they transposed a letter and meant “Eva,” as in Eva Mae LeFevre, the first lady of gospel music. It is my firm conviction that Eva Mae, along with her husband, Urias and his brother, Alphus, and friends and family touched more lives in a positive way in their half-century of performing such classics as “’Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus,” “This World is Not My Home” and “Just Over in Gloryland” than Ava Gardner could ever have hoped to do. We were regulars at the East Point auditorium whenever the LeFevers came through town. I doubt my parents would have spent 2 red cents to see Ava Gardner at the East Point auditorium, even if she would have deigned to appear.
So, why Ava is the most popular name in Georgia and not Eva Mae? Not to mention Urias and Alphus. I think they are every bit as worthy as Sebastian and Kingston.
It will be interesting to see where this name game ends up. As you know, the most critical issue facing this great nation of ours today is not the economy, global terrorism or immigration issues, but rather where some 0.3 percent of Americans can go tinkle without being scarred for life.
If tinkling is traumatic to these huddled masses, this could mean the end of names like Noah and Amoret. Washington bureaucrats could deem such names discriminatory and hurtful in the future. But one thing is for sure: Great-grandson Cameron is not changing his name. He is named for his great-grandmother’s Scottish clan. I visited the Cameron clan’s museum in Scotland a few years ago and found out the first Duke of Cameron got mad at a rival clan member and ripped out his jugular. I don’t know about you, but given that fact, as well as who his great-grandmother is, I think we can all agree that Cameron is a really neat name.
Contact Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139; and online at dickyarbrough.com or facebook.com/dickyarb.