Sunday, April 20, 2014
One the Edge
By J.P. Devine
By the time this is printed, they will probably already have announced the royal name for His Highness Prince of Cambridge, but in the mean time, it’s giving all of us, bookies, pundits, comedians, something fun to think about instead of the rain, the heat and the humidity.
We all like the name game, that’s why we buy puppies and kittens, even gerbils. It took my mother eight seconds to pick my name, and two weeks to name the dog. Then someone at city hall messed mine up, and I got baptized with another. I got arrested once for participating in an anti-Vietnam protest. I gave them the city hall name. They’re still looking for me.
My first choice for the new prince would be J.P. of course, or Jeremiah Patrick, my baptism name. But it’s too biblical and certainly too Irish but what the heck?
Personally, I would prefer to go through life being addressed as Your Royal Highness, or Prince, simply, Prince.
If I went shopping for a tie: “What’s the name, sir?”
“Prince of Cambridge.”
“We’ll need a Christian name, sir.”
“I’m the Prince of Cambridge, and you had better bloody well call me that, or I’ll have the Sheriff of Nottingham or someone like that come and shut down your shop, have your wife beheaded, and slap you and your children into the Tower of London. Now get me that tie, and by the way, old sport, do you take Discover?”
They can’t name him Richard, it’s so evocative of that hunch-backed rogue whose body was just exhumed.
Maybe Robin, after Robin Hood, who, according to legend, was really Robin of Locksley.
Prince Robin Hood. OMG. That’s smashing. They can fetch a girl named Marian, round up some pals, bows and arrows and a herd of sweaty horses. If it doesn’t work out, they can sell the whole idea to Netflix.
I would like to posit my list at this time, including some of my favorites: I like Mathias, my father’s name, or Jack, my favorite uncle. But it’s a sure bet, the researchers over there in MI6, being very thorough, will discover that Uncle Jack was a royal boozer and fond of throwing rocks at passing British troop lorries as they wheeled through the streets of Dublin.
Benjamin would be fun. It has a nice aristocratic ring to it. But you can bet that when they send him on to day school at Eton or somewhere, the other chaps, being the scoundrels they are, will be calling him “Benny,” which has the ring of a Bronx bookie or stand-up comic.
Jacob is nice, but those classmates will shorten it to Jake, which sounds like a pawnbroker in Brooklyn, worse, a knee-breaker for the mob.
“Tell Jake to get over there and get my money.”
They may well opt for something like Alexander, I like that, or Archibald. Prince Archibald has a nice sound, don’t you think? Oh yeah, that’s right, there is the danger of him being called Archie. That won’t do, and Dylan, as in Dylan Thomas, the notorious, brilliant Welsh poet and drunk won’t sit well with grandma.
They will more than likely avoid movie star names, like, Colin, Cary, Harrison, Sean, Brad and Dustin.
Although I think that Prince Dustin is rather snappy, don’t you? Is Ringo a stretch?
Certainly they will avoid names like, Dimitri, Tyler and Max. I do like Max. Would Sherlock be too much?
Certainly not Moriarty or Watson.
I like Freddie as well. I really do. I think that when the baby prince is a young man about town, and possibly quite a dandy of the day, it would be fun to watch the girls giggle as he passes by in his ruby-colored Rolls Royce, and hear them all call out “Love Ya, Freddie.”
She, who loved the movie, thinks that Alfie would be grand. I agree. One night he staggers home late and the royal Mum asks, “What’s it all about, Alfie?”
My advice to the new young prince would be, if you plan, one day, to march in any protest parades, give the city hall name.
J.P. Devine is a Waterville writer.