Irony, Irony…

Thy name is irony. As my loyal readers (hi, you two!) know by now, I am keenly interested in names of all sorts: their meanings, their appropriateness on a character, and their humor.
What do I mean by their humor? No, I’m not talking about the kids everybody’s brother-in-law’s podiatrist’s second cousin’s friend swears they know that are named Orangejello and Lemonjello. If even half of those stories were true the country would be overrun with gelatin-themed people. has an interesting article
about this phenomenon, which is far older than the internet and includes other alleged names besides the Jello twins.
No, I’m talking today about names that have an ironic twist to them, names which are either deliciously apt or stunningly off the mark. A few examples, and I’d love to find more, so if you have any (none of the tried-and-untrue on Snopes or in that mass e-mail your ex-roommate sent you last Friday) do please send them along:

Larry Speaks: He was Ronald Reagan’s spokesman during the mid-eighties.
Storm Field: A TV meteorologist in NYC. Storm was/is his actual first name, not a silly nickname bestowed on him by the station.
Mrs. Screech: A singing coach in Canada. I picture her as a terrifying, witchy lady beating time with a long pointer, and if her student misses a note, she’s not above rapping the poor kid on the head with it.
Steven Streem: A urologist. Cross my heart. No, really. He must come in for a lot of laughs from his peers. *rimshot*
Dr. Plack: A dentist. Doesn’t he ever feel a bit persecuted, what with all the talk about getting rid of Plack?
Cheryl Burns: A woman in Florida who, several years ago, killed two of her sons in an arson fire. Was she only fulfilling what she saw as her manifest destiny? Why didn’t her lawyer explore that avenue?
Angelo Buono: One-half (with his cousin Kenneth Bianchi) of the imfamous serial-killing duo known as the Hillside Stranglers. In Italian, of course, his name translates directly into “good angel.” Some people have no ambition to live up to their names, unlike Dr. Streem the urologist, who used his name to great professional advantage.
Ralph Kevorkian: He was the pilot of TWA’s ill-fated Flight 800, which crashed off Long Island shortly after take-off in July 1996. I did a little research and Kevorkian is apparently a not-uncommon Armenian name, but here in the US it’s mainly known because of suicide-doctor Jack Kevorkian. This connotation probably gave conspiracy theorists hours of fun as they tried to find a more sinister explanation for Flight 800’s downfall.

Me, I’m just waiting to hear of a vegan animal-rights activist named Bambi Hunter, or a colleague of Dr. Plack’s named Phil McCavity. I’ll keep you posted!


4 Responses to “Irony, Irony…”

  1. Antoine Says:

    The former Major League Baseball pitcher, Mark Lemongello, was later arrested for kidnapping. A dentist in San Antonio named his business site “Tooth Acres.” (I used to wince every time I drove by.) My hometown featured two siblings named Cadillac and Pontiac Mackinac.

    • ghostscribe Says:

      Cadillac and Pontiac Mackinac…would they they have been Michigan transplants? WHo did Mark Lemongello kidnap? Somebody that tried to ask about his brother Orangejello?

  2. Antoine Says:

    Not sure how the case played out in court, but he was accused of kidnapping his cousins – former professional bowler (!) Mike Lemongello, who, I believe, was currently forging a successful music career, and Peter Lemongello. I also found these tidbits (or “titbits,” as the Brits say): “Lemongello pulled himself from a game much to the surprise of the upset manager. He then went into the clubhouse and threw himself on the snack table. He laid with his head in the mayonnaise until an hour after the game ended,” and “Lemongello no longer lives as a normal American citizen. He has become a modern day gypsy, never staying in one place long enough for his family to find him.”

    If the Mackinacs were from Michigan, they’d probably pronounce their last name “Mackinaw,” which would spoil the alliterative rhyme.

    • ghostscribe Says:

      Mark evidently got hit in the head by one too many foul balls. The mayonnaise didn’t work like it was supposed to, I guess. As the Brits would also say, he’s a right nutter.

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