Friday, May 28, 2010

The Perils of Sing-Song Names

I couldn't resist this lesson in choosing character names. I'm serious here. Really. Use care when naming the folks who populate your stories or your masterpiece may become just a bad joke . . .

A Shaggy Frog story.

A frog goes into a bank and
approaches the teller. He
can see from her nameplate
that her name is Patricia

"Miss Whack, I'd like to get
a $30,000 loan to take a

Patty looks at the frog in
disbelief and asks his name.
The frog says his name is
Kermit Jagger, his dad is
Mick Jagger, and that it's
okay, he knows the bank

Patty explains that he will
need to secure the loan with
some collateral.

The frog says, "Sure. I have
this," and produces a tiny
porcelain elephant, about an
inch tall, bright pink and
perfectly formed.

Very confused, Patty explains
that she'll have to consult
with the bank manager and
disappears into a back office.

She finds the manager and
says, "There's a frog called
Kermit Jagger out there who
claims to know you and wants
to borrow $30,000, and he
wants to use this as

She holds up the tiny pink
elephant. "I mean, what in
the world is this?"

The bank manager looks back
at her and says:

"It's a knickknack,
Patty Whack.
Give the frog a loan,
His old man's a Rolling Stone."

(You're singing it, aren't you?
Yeah, I know you are..)
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  1. This is priceless in all its hilarity. Thanks for the grand chuckle.

    Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend while you're at it.

  2. I love it! Totally have to share that one :)

  3. This made me laugh - I loved it! :)

  4. Hah! Love it! I was trying to figure it out as I read, but I didn't get it. :p

  5. I got a kick out of it myself. Of course, I had to stretch to make it fit into a writing site! :D

  6. Can't help but sing. Now, though, I'll have it in my head all day! :)

  7. @ Kate: it's from the old children's counting song "This Old Man." Did you ever hear it?

    @ Sally: Yes, I had it in my head all day the first time I read it, then again when I posted it here, and now. So I really hope folks appreciate what I go through to give them a laugh! :D

  8. I saw this a long time ago, but had forgotten it. :D

  9. Ooh! Never heard of it. :P (I'm the only girl on the planet who's never learned "Jesus Loves Me" or the American patriotic song (Don't even know its name!), or most other songs-that-normal-people-learn.) Thanks a lot!

  10. LOL! Or maybe that's a groan! Thanks, Linda!

  11. ROFL! Love it! I've got to share this one.

  12. For Kate's benefit, I believe the real words are:

    "With a nick-nack, paddy-whack,
    Give a dog a bone.
    This old man comes rolling home."

    Usually I see the joke coming well into the story, but this time it took me by surprise. I love when that happens.

    ~ VT

  13. hmmmm...

    I was attracted to the green

  14. Green Monkey, Hope you weren't too disappointed!

  15. Some many years ago I wrote this as an exercise in writing a shaggy 'dog' story. I was a little unhappy with myself about the use of the absurd comment regards the frog laying claim to Mick Jagger's name for the very reason intimated by the introduction to this presentation of it.

    Yesterday, 30 August 2011 I was about to send to the gentleman who posts my writing in a creative writer's site a version I have laboured over for ... months ... and thought I would check in a Google search to see if anyone else has written a "shaggy frog" story. I put in the search just as formality to orient myself although supposing I would come up with a mountain of them and could not believe my eyes. The framework of the original (even down in this instance of its reporting to the randomly chosen 30,000 dollars) has jumped out at me from various sources. I notice that someone had said on another forum they received it in email. If that is the case there are a number of explanations why it escaped my files including I read it once to a gathering of local creative writers in a group I facilitated except it is so pretty well exact to the 'voice' on most sites that it appears to have circulated in a written form. I may recall eventually if I emialed it to anyone and I suppose I did. What immediately occurred to me was the psychology I was thinking on when I wrote the story and the jingle regards someone vulnerable to that potentially not being able to get it out of their head has come true. Well, anyway, there is my greeting and - possibly impetuous response and somewhere I may be able to find in my scraps of paper the original copy. I fear not. I can write quite extensively on the why and when of writing this and I hardl;y think the sincerity of my 'voice' will be in question. :)
    Thank you for your giggly interest and pleasure you have had from it although I promise you its distribution in this form was not anticipated. My name is Christina.