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The ballad of 'Talula Does the Hula from Hawaii' - Curt Yeomans

Orangejello and Lemonjello have lost their joint title for the world's strangest name.

Parents in New Zealand are far more inventive -- and bizarre -- when it comes to naming their children.

Don't believe me? Need some proof? Just ask the 9-year-old Wellington, New Zealand girl whose birth certificate listed her given name as "Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii."

According to the Associated Press, some exciting names for children in New Zealand include "Number 16 Bus Shelter" and "Violence." Some other names which were requested by parents, but rejected by registration officials include, "Fish and Chips," "Yeah Detroit," "Keenan Got Lucy," and "Sex Fruit."

But it's "Talula Does the Hula from Hawaii," which has garnered international attention, thanks to her story getting picked up by the AP.

Family Court Judge Rob Murfitt recently declared "Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii" a ward of the court because of her unusual name.

The AP reported that Murfitt wrote in his court decision, "The court is profoundly concerned about the very poor judgment which this child's parents have shown in choosing this name ... It makes a fool of the child and sets her up with a social disability and handicap, unnecessarily."

You see, she was so embarrassed by the name, "Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii," she wouldn't tell her closest friends what her name was. She just told them to call her "K," as in the letter which brought you a few episodes of "Sesame Street."

Can you imagine what roll call would be like at the beginning of the typical school day?

"Tal---," the teacher would begin to ask.

"NO! Don't say it! I'm here! I'm here!" the girl would scream.

At least it would have been an incentive to get the little girl to come to school on time every day. She couldn't be late or skip, because the teacher would then let everyone know her real name.

Thanks to Judge Murfitt, the little girl's name is no longer "Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii," however. In fact, the judge won't let anyone know what her new name is. Can you blame Murfitt? If people know what her new name is, they'll want to harass her and ask what it was like to be named "Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii."

I like the name, "Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii," so much, I'm trying to see how many times I can write "Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii" in this column and still get it to make sense.

"Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii."

Odd names exist in our country, too. For years, parents have wanted to avoid their child being the umpteenth Michael, Christopher and Brian in a classroom. My parents spent three days after I was born trying to come up with a first name that was unusual enough to avoid such a fate.

The irony is that in high school, I and another Curt were seated next to each other by our biology teacher. Another semester, a world geography teacher seated me next to a guy named Kurt.

My parents' plan didn't work out so well.

In addition to Orangejello and Lemonjello, some U.S. parents have named their children after other products they found at the grocery store. According to a 2001 report from the Orlando Sentinel, a researcher from Bellevue University in Bellevue, Neb. found there were 298 Armanis; 164 Nauticas; 55 Chevys; 12 Camrys, and 17 Dodges born in 2000.

Other names which showed up were: Courvoisier; Darvon; Ronrico; Del Monte; L'Oreal; Catera and Cartier. The reporter who wrote the story even found a couple of students at the University of Central Florida named "Atari" and "DeLorean." Both of them even agreed to be interviewed for the story.

And of course, there is another group of parents that was not mentioned in that story. Those are the parents who name their children "ESPN." The cable sports network once did a report where parents sent in video tapes to introduce to their little "ESPN"s. It was absolutely scary, and very sad.

Well, at least they weren't named "Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii."

Curt Yeomans covers education for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753, ext. 247 or via e-mail at cyeomans@news-daily.com.