Reasons why Fran thinks Boris has chosen the wrong name for his son

So, the Prime Minister has called his (already mop-haired) new son Wilfred.

Sorry, Boris, but that name is taken. I think you'll find this is Wilfred.




I quite understand, Mr Johnson, if you decide to change your little boy's name in the light of my photograph. It can't be easy, realising you've named your son after a giant stuffed duck with a preternaturally enormous beak.

How about something more modern, anyway? Jake? Kyle? Connor?

Horace, to rhyme with your own name?

Maurice?

Or, as these are more enlightened times - Doris?

Readers, while the Prime Minister ponders over my suggestions and looks up my number so he can ring me to discuss the options, I will tell you instead the story of how this toy duck became known as Wilfred.

My grandfather was called Wilfred and my grandmother Kathleen. The day before their 50th wedding anniversary - some time in the mid-1990s - I said to my husband, 'I am going to town to buy a Golden Wedding present for Gran and Grandad.'

Two hours later, I came back with Wilfred, although he hadn't been named at that point.

'What is that?' my husband said, peering into the carrier bag. 'Where is the anniversary present? Why are you buying soft toys? Why did I ever agree to marry you? Why didn't I marry Doreen when I had the chance for a peaceful life?'

He was not convinced at all by my arguments that a) a yellow duck was a perfect present for a golden wedding and that b) decorative wall-plates - the only other thing I'd seen that would have suited - were so tedious, they almost counted as an insult, as though you were commiserating, not congratulating.

This is why Wilfred became a permanent fixture in our household - our three children were not as unhappy about this as their father was - and it also explains why he was named so.

It's also why I was sent out again, unceremoniously, to buy my grandparents a wall-plate.

Yes, they did love it, but only because they hadn't seen Wilfred the duck.

Or maybe they were just being polite and the other sixty-three wall plates were hidden under the sofa.

Wilfred - shortened to Wilf now that it's only the two of us in the house and we're old enough now to be conserving breath at all opportunities - has been with us for 25 years. He's a favourite of the grandchildren's. When they come for a sleepover, Phoebe (6) claims him straight away.

I've just said to my husband, 'I'm writing about Wilf the duck. Do you remember why we have him?'

You know when a shadow crosses someone's face, as though they've been emotionally scarred by a trauma and still react at even the slightest memory?....

Boris still hasn't rung. A bit rude, when I'm only trying to help.


I mean, really? When you compare this to the duck? 








Comments

  1. Brilliant as always. If Boris has got any sense (debatable), he'll be straight on the blower.

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    1. Thank you! And I intend to wait up until late for the call. I'm sure it'll come.

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  2. You're totally right; there's no comparison at all. Stuffies win, hands down ... er, wings down? flippers down? And I'm sorry Boris stole Wilf's name. That is inexcusable.

    I loved your point about saving breath at every opportunity. That must be why my husband, bless him, never uses pronouns anymore. He recounts conversations starting with "...said" instead of "I said" or "he said" but now I understand he's just conserving energy. Every letter counts!

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    1. I love the idea of someone economising on pronouns! Next, prepositions, perhaps, or articles. When he starts cutting down on nouns and verbs, you'll know things are serious.

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  3. Many old-timey names are coming back into fashion these days. Perhaps "Wilfrid" is too? The only two Wilfrids of whom I'm aware are Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Prime Minister of Canada from 1896-1911, and a town drunk named Wilfrid who lived down the street from us when I was a kid in the 1960s.

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    1. Oh definitely, the old-fashioned names are coming back. Albert. Edward. Henry. And, if he likes, Boris can have one of those. I have no soft toys with those names.

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    2. He can't have Henry, I have a stuffed monkey named Henry.

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    3. And so Boris's options narrow down further .....

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  4. Perfect clickbait title, Fran. I saw Boris and thought 'Hmmm, what are Fran's thought's on our PM?' I certainly wasn't expecting to be confronted by a duck with a huge beak! Wonderful, and as random as it is, I feel it would have made a better present then the plate :)

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    1. Ha ha - I hope you didn't think you were going to get thoughtful political debate here. I love the fact that you even considered it might be a possibility. And, yes, I agree. I am still smarting that I wasn't allowed to give them the duck.

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  5. Haha! Yes, this is my favourite part too - '...now that it's only the two of us in the house and we're old enough now to be conserving breath at all opportunities...' Surely all couples do this which is why we often talk to each other in unfinished sentences - 'Are you going to...?' 'Yes, in a minute...'/'What about the...?' 'I haven't forgotten...' Lovely, chuckly post as ever x

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    1. We finish all those sentences with 'thingy'. Are you going to ... you know ... do the thingy? What about the .... er ... the thingy?

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    2. I think both your replies have made us laugh even more then your actual blog post, Fran, which is a bit concerning as we've already started doing that, been married for only 8 years!

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  6. Phoebe claims him straight away? He's mine first. Hands off, niece.

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    1. This could be a really easy wedding present next year ...

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