Bluff The Listener
BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We're playing this week with Tara Clancy, Tom Bodett and Roxanne Roberts. And here again is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago - Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you so much
SAGAL: Right now, it is time for the WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play our game on the air. Hi, you are on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.
NICK TURNER: Hello. This is Nick Turner from Erie, Colo.
SAGAL: Hey, how are things in Erie, Colo.?
TURNER: Oh, just gorgeous.
SAGAL: What do you do there?
TURNER: I do digital marketing for a smart home company.
SAGAL: A smart home company? That's one of the companies that like arranges it so you just tell your home what you want, and it does it?
TURNER: That's right. And we're watching you.
SAGAL: Nick, welcome to the show. You're going to play our game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is Nick's topic?
KURTIS: What's in a name?
SAGAL: Sometimes, we're named after our grandparents or our parents or maybe the name of the birth control that failed and resulted in our conception.
SAGAL: This week, we read about someone getting their name in a unique way. Our panelists are going to tell you about it. Pick the true one, you'll win our prize - the voice of your choice on your voicemail. You ready to play?
TURNER: I am.
SAGAL: All right. First, let's hear from Tara Clancy.
TARA CLANCY: Of the many thousands of lonely delights unique to the digital age, perhaps only a few rival the sinister joy one may experience when coming across a tattoo mishap. Even the most perfunctory of Google searches will reveal no fewer than a dozen poor souls who received the tattoo no regrts (ph).
CLANCY: And even a bit more fun than the misspelling is the mistranslation. Here's a favorite of mine - a guy who thought he was getting love, honor, obey but wound up instead with, at the end of the day, this is an ugly boy.
CLANCY: But, of course - which brings us to the story of a woman who set out to have the name of her son tattooed on her forearm only to discover just moments after the deed was done that the boy's name was misspelled. The 30-year-old mother explained that she gave her son's name to her tattoo artist and took a quick look at the design he drew up but didn't give much thought to double-checking the spelling - a seemingly reckless thing to do, save the fact that the kid's name was Kevin. And yet, what she now had permanently inked on her body, clear as day, was Kelvin...
CLANCY: ...As in the Kelvin scale, as in the primary unit of thermodynamic temperature, as in not effing Kevin.
CLANCY: After careful consideration, she ruled out undergoing the painful and expensive removal process when a simpler solution occurred to her. She renamed the kid.
CLANCY: Yes. She had her son's name legally changed from Kevin to Kelvin.
CLANCY: Good news - the family have just welcomed another child, and undeterred mom intends to go under the needle once more. However, this time she promises to be better prepared - quote, "I'm going to write it down on a piece of paper."
SAGAL: A kid is named Kelvin...
SAGAL: ...Because of a typo on his mom's tattoo. Your next story of a baby naming comes from Roxanne Roberts.
ROXANNE ROBERTS: George and Tony Samuels (ph) are brothers, best friends and English soccer fans - George a long-time Manchester United supporter, his younger brother a fan of the Leicester City Foxes. On a drunken autumn night in 2015, the two made a bet. If Manchester won the Premier League title yet again, Tony had to wear the team jersey for a month. If Leicester broke its 132-year curse, Tony would get to name George's firstborn, due in the spring. Then Leicester beat 5000 to 1 odds to capture the title in March of 2016, a win called the biggest upset in sports history. Two months later, Jenny Samuels (ph) gave birth to a bouncing baby girl legally named Leicester City Vicky Vixen Antonio Samuels (ph) for...
ROBERTS: ...As Tony told the BBC, the team, the mascot and its number one fan - me.
ROBERTS: Quote, "my brother-in-law is an idiot"...
ROBERTS: ...Jenny told the reporter, "and my husband is an even bigger idiot."
ROBERTS: But Jenny, now pregnant with her second child, says George and Tony are banned from naming, quote, "the baby and any future pets, including goldfish, for life."
SAGAL: A kid named for the Leicester City soccer team because of a lost bet. Your last story of a name bestowed for an unusual reason comes from Tom Bodett.
TOM BODETT: Dublin poet Too Many Mulcahy's (ph) dark verse has been a staple of modern Irish literature for a generation. His signature collection, "My Da Never Loved Me," won the prestigious Quigley (ph) citation for innate Irish angst in 1989, and the follow-up, "Neither Did Me Ma," remains...
BODETT: ...A best-seller. The youngest of 14 children from a Galway fishing family, Too Many had interpreted the odd name his parents gave him to mean that after birthing a brood of 13 kids, his very existence was one over the line. To make matters worse, unlike his fair, freckled siblings, he was dark-featured and bronze-skinned. His mother seemed embarrassed by him. His fisherman father would return from sea and go down the line of his children giving kisses until he reached the youngest then simply nod and say, Too Many.
BODETT: All of this, plus the drinking, was a blessing for an Irish poet and almost no other human being. Then, last week, as his 96-year-old mother lay dying, she pulled Too Many close and whispered to him the truth. He had been conceived during one of his father's long absences after a night of Guinness at a local pub favored by the Portuguese fishing fleet. She had dim memories of the night - none of his biological father - and plenty of 'splaining (ph) to do when Da got home.
BODETT: Too Many, she told him with her final breath, it's not about you. It was about the pints - too many pints, my love.
BODETT: Mulcahy's newest verse, "She Never Said I'm Sorry," will appear in the weekend's edition of the Irish Examiner.
SAGAL: All right. Which of these is the story of an unusual origin for a kid's name? Is it, from Tara Clancy, how a little kid got named Kelvin instead of Kevin - he got his name changed it to because of the tattoo artist's mistake - from Roxanne Roberts, a kid named after the Leicester City soccer team because her father lost a bet, or from Tom Bodett, the sad tale of Too Many, named after the drinks his mother had before he was conceived?
SAGAL: Which of these is the real story of an unusual origin of a baby name?
TURNER: Oh, boy. I don't think tattoo removal is 100 percent, so I think the name might be easy. I'm going to go with the tattoo.
SAGAL: You're going to go with a tattoo. Well, to bring you the correct answer, we spoke to a reporter who has covered this real story.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
TAMARA LAPIN: The tattoo artist ended up making an honest mistake.
LAPIN: The mom did the best thing she thought she could do and renamed her child.
SAGAL: That was Tamara Lapin. She's a reporter for The New York Post who wrote about little Kelvin...
SAGAL: ...Who is not yet old enough to express his opinion...
SAGAL: ...About this, but we're looking forward to that. Congratulations, Nick.
TURNER: Thank you.
SAGAL: You got it right. It turned out Tara was telling the truth.
SAGAL: You've won our prize, the voice of your choice on your voicemail. Congratulations.
TURNER: Thank you.
SAGAL: Take care.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.