Fall Out for the Boy

November 30, 2008 at 4:49 pm Leave a comment

Bronx Mowgli. It took almost a week for me to try to suck out all the future pain of that kid’s life, but no dice. I’m an empath, but obviously not a very good one. For even I could do nothing to mitigate the years of torture that will be endured by the new son of Pete Wentz and Ashlee “I thought hyphenated names were still cool” Simpson-Wentz’ baby boy.

By the time BM (those initials alone are suicide-worthy) is in grade school, his parents’ celebrity factor will be permanently extinguished, and BroMo will be left alone to deal with the kind of fall out that no boy should ever have to bear. Come to think of it, how famous are you now when the media has to identify you by the name of your band? And any effort to let the non-cognoscenti know who Ashlee Simpson-Wentz is was abandoned a long time ago. Which is a good idea when your best- known performance involves flipping out on Saturday Night Live.

Explaining why he named his son after the main character in Rudyard Kipling’s classic The Jungle Book, Pete said it’s “a cool name” that he and Ashlee “bonded over.” OK, they like the same cool book, they bonded, and maybe they even read it to each other as foreplay in some hotel room during the last Fall Out Boy tour. I can buy that. So why not make Mowgli the kid’s middle name and give him a decent first name-a name he can depend on to get though school without scars or missing limbs. For example, Josh Mowgli Simpson-Wentz. The only way he’d get the crap beaten out of him then was if there was a kid in his class with the same first and last name, say, Josh Baloo Simpson-Wentz, and the teacher had to resort to calling out middle names. No such luck for this newborn. Like every dippy parent who wants their child to have a distinctive name, Pete n’ Ashlee have exponentially added to the anguish with the geographically correct name Bronx. Brooklyn was already taken, of course, by David and Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham, so there were only four New York boroughs left. (Note: Manhattan, Staten Island, and Queens are still up for grabs.)

Why do parents, especially celebrity parents, seem so willing to toss their newborns into a linguistic minefield? Is it a sacrificial gift to the gods who changed their crappy pre-fame lives into something less crappy?

Two things come to mind. When my now 90-year-old aunt was going though an especially bad time in her youth, she changed her name to Letty, because as she always told me, “you change your name, you change your luck.”

And many experts believe that after adopting a rescue animal, you should change its name so it will lose all association with its former (and presumably bad) life.

So we can only hope that Bronx Mowgli either has a run of bad luck, or is given to an animal shelter.

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Creosote on my nose I am, Therefore I Buy

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Roberta Gale

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