How we’re playing the name game

Choosing a baby name is a fun way for pregnant couples to see each other in a new light specifically, a gas station florescent that makes you look like Danny DeVito.

While playing the Name Game there should really be a way that, after your significant other presents you an awful name, a giant cage would slowly descend over his/her like in the board game Mousetrap. It’s advised that you play the home version of Name Game in lieu of the hospital version, as you have the added benefit of longer arguments and more plentiful I-Don’t-Want-To-Talk-About-It-Anymore cards.

Here’s how to play (evidently); start by saying,


Wife: “That’s stupid.”

You: “You’re stupid.”

Wife: “WHAT?”

You: “Huh? I said you’re pretty and I think getting less noticeably pregnant by the hour.”

Then repeat. We’ve had this conversation more times than on which I care to dwell. Dwell would be an excellent name. Perhaps D’well. That’s going on the list for my wife to scoff at before tossing away. I’ve taken to expediting this joyous little process and by writing great ideas on slips of paper and tossing them in the trash. Essentially I function like a much more streamlined version of Congress.

Let’s face it; naming is a big decision. If my first name was Axel or Falcor I probably would be flying the president around on Air Force One and/or rescuing hostages on my machine gun motorcycle. I suppose I can legally change it now, but because my name is “Kelly” I lack the unwavering motivation of a “Sylvester”, “Phoenix” or “Thurman” to actually go through with the process.

My list of names have included obvious winners like Blanka, Raiden, Ryu, Cloud and Luigi. This list prompted her to seek out her “real husband” whatever that means. Clearly these names were too incredible for my wife’s delicate sensibilities, which only prove their effectiveness.

“Fine,” I say. “Then YOU pick which video game character to name him after.” It’s so hard to please a pregnant woman.

Many women mistakenly believe that just because they are carrying the baby they’re somehow entitled to more votes. This isn’t the Electoral College; just because you have more people living in your state doesn’t grant you additional decision-making power. If your lady does start to say her vote counts as two because she’s carrying life, pick up a puppy. If you have a really cool name in mind, pick up another one. Unless she’s carrying twins or something, by her own rules you now have majority opinion. Congratulations on your new baby, Optimus.

A word of warning: she may take this to the next level and get additional pregnant, or what science calls Spontaneous Super Pregnant, to up her votes. This may not be physically possible, but doctors still haven’t ruled out the possibility. One baby can become two as late as in the last six months of the fourth try-semester.

Men: here is an exciting tactic to get your awesome name into the fray. I often text my wife a series of ridiculous names under the guise that I’m incredibly serious. That way, when I come across a halfway normal name I like she gives it MUCH MORE consideration before rejecting it completely. Fun!

Be warned! Women are shifty and may try and re-enter negotiations under a white flag of peace. She might seductively trudge out a chest full of “Okay, I’ll tell you what. You can have the middle name.” But it’s fool’s gold. Nobody uses the middle name unless they’re in trouble or filling out obscure governmental forms. Being offered the middle name in exchange for the first name is like going on a blind double-date with a friend and having him say “I’m going to bite the bullet and take Kate Upton, but you, oh man, I’ll let you have Chris Christie. You lucky dog.”

If the first name is sitting on the throne, the middle name is trying to get the Ring back from Bilbo Baggins. The middle name is the first name’s forgotten, mutant cousin.

It’s gotten so bad these days that she slipped a shocking dog collar around me during the night. Now, every time I say, “Hey, I kinda like” I get zapped until the urge to contribute subsides. At this rate the baby will be named “WhateverIdon’tcare.” It’s a little long, but I kinda like it.

Another variation of the Name Game is to place names into giant chalice, all Harry-Potter-and-the-Goblet-of-Fire-style. Once all possible names have been tossed into the goblet, light the contents on fire. When you “reach in” to grab whatever name hasn’t been singed, pull out the piece of paper you had “palmed” beforehand. Viola! You have a name. When she begins to protest, immediately put a finger to her lips and say, “Shhhhh. The gods have spoken.” Then go out and buy giant letters that spell your awesome name and nail them to the baby’s wall. Like explorers claiming land by placing a flag in the ground representing their country, whoever places a name in the baby’s room first wins.

The Name Game is brought to you by the makers of What Do You Want For Supper? and What Movie Should We Rent?

Kelly Van De Walle is the senior creative & marketing writer for Briscoe14 Communications ( He can be reached at or via speed message by the Micro Machine guy. Follow Kelly on Twitter @pancake_bunny if you care at all about greatness.