This is my home game entry for The Real LJ Idol. I am not competing this season but invite you to read the many fine submissions here. Topic number 10 is an open topic, which means we can write about anything. Was that really a good idea, Gary?
Graham Chapman as The Colonel
I thought I'd try something a little different. Since this is an open topic, I chose to work with one of the writing prompts I found at WritersDigest.com.
You and your spouse welcome a beautiful baby into your lives and, after going round and round on names, you choose one that's very unusual. Write a scene where you announce the name to your family. Include their reaction and your explanation for choosing such an odd name.
"Mom, Dad," I said, "thanks for joining us. We have something very important we'd like to discuss." My husband, The Gryphon, and I were treating them to dinner at their favorite Italian restaurant. Indeed, we had important news, but I wasn't sure how they'd take it.
I took a sip of my mineral water and continued. "As you know, we have been debating what to name our baby ever since we learned it's a boy. We have consulted seven baby-name books and several online sources. Finally, we've reached a decision. We're naming him after my favorite Monty Python actor, the late Graham Chapman."
Mom gushed, "Graham is a beautiful name..."
"Let me finish," I interjected. "It will be spelled G-R-A-H-A-M, but it will be pronounced Throat Warbler Mangrove [see VIDEO]."
Immediately, my parents' faces transformed from joy to deep anger and resentment. My dad's eyebrows knitted together, his entire face squinting up as he leaned forward and asked, in his most intimidating voice which isn't terribly intimidating, since he sounds like Bert of Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie [see VIDEO] said, "You can't name him that! Throde Wambler what?"
"Throat Warbler Mangrove," I repeated, patiently. "It's the name of one of his characters."
"I don't know what to say," my Mom exclaimed. "That's a ridiculous name."
The Gryphon placed his hand on my arm and spoke up: "We did initially consider Graham, but several people warned us about the possibility that cruel children would call him 'Graham Cracker' or even" he shuddered "Grampa."
"But that didn't stop us from naming you Alice," my mom pointed out.
"Yes," my dad chimed in. "How is Wonderland?"
"Just fine this time of year," I responded automatically to the old joke. "Doesn't make me at all mad." Out of the side of my mouth, I mumbled, "We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
The Gryphon said, helpfully, "We then considered his various character names, starting with his movies, such as Monty Python and The Holy Grail. King Arthur is a ridiculous name."
"What about just Arthur?" Mom asked.
"Then you've got Art, rhymes with 'fart.' You know how it goes," The Gryphon said.
"And then we thought of Life of Brian," I jumped in. "but Brian is right out."
"Why is that?" Dad asked.
"You do know I have a problem pronouncing 'R's,' right? I don't want to be leaning out the door, calling, 'Bwian! Where is Bwian! We have no Bwian [see VIDEO starting at 2:38]!"
"Your speech isn't that bad," Dad said, in his most helpful Bert voice.
My mom agreed, "I can see why you wouldn't be happy with any of those names."
"So the choice came down to one last sketch," I explained. "In it, Graham plays a character named Raymond Luxury Yacht."
"Raymond!" Mom brightened. "What about Raymond?"
"What letter does it begin with?" I queried. She sat back, defeated. I explained that, during the sketch, Graham tells a television host that his name is actually pronounced Throat Warbler Mangrove. "It was an obvious choice."
"If you're worried about people making fun of him, why on earth would you name him Throat Warbler Mangrove?" Dad berted.
The Gryphon said, "Well, we figured if his name is that odd already, nobody will make further fun of it."
"Good point," Mom admitted.
"So as you see," I concluded, "we've given this a great deal of thought. I hope you understand our decision."
Mom dabbed her eyes with her napkin, seemingly fighting back tears.
The Gryphon held up his glass and urged us all to do likewise. "Here's to our beautiful little boy-to-be, Throat Warbler Mangrove Gryphon. Cheers!"
"Cheers," my parents muttered weakly.
Dad swirled his wine in his glass thoughtfully and looked up with a twinkle in his eye. "I guess it's probably time to tell her."
"Tell me what?" I asked.
"About your name," he said. "You see, it's spelt A-L-I-C-E..."
"A-L-Y-C-E," I corrected. I'd changed the spelling back in college.
"Yes, it's spelled A-L-Y-C-E, but it's pronounced Tree Mailbox Nipple."
Mom looked at Dad, delighted. "Yes, after your paternal grandmother."
"But she was named Miriam," I objected.
"It was spelled M-I-R-I-A-M," she giggled. "But it was pronounced Tree Mailbox Nipple."
You simply can't put anything over on my parents.
This entry is nude organist approved [see VIDEO].