Jewish World Review May 29, 2003 / 27 Iyar, 5763

John Timpane

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Consumer Reports


Are naming rights out of hand? Wait until they sell all the nouns


http://www.jewishworldreview.com | (KRT) I like beginning the 7-Eleven day by walking our Nestle Purina PetCare Co. dogs. Ah, the Sun Microsystems sun, shining in the Dish Network sky! The Eagle Brands birds, singing in the Weyerhouser trees! I can get my Tristate Neurosurgical Associates thoughts in U.S. Army order and plan the McDonald's Marriott morning to come.

Then the Nestle Purina PetCare Co. dogs and I go back to the Home Depot house, where I wash my Revlon face and Allstate hands at the sink and sit down to the table, where I have my Kellogg's breakfast with my Merry Maid Kimberly-Clark wife and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Sony Nike MTV Diesel son, whom for the sake of Magic Medical, makers of Depends EasyFit Undergarments brevity, I shall call Frank.

Frank has a great Merriam-Webster sense of HBO Comedy Channel humor. He's reading the newspaper and says, "Y'know, it really sucks that the Smith & Wesson ExxonMobil U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that it's OK to sell the naming rights to common nouns. It makes U.S. Department of Justice sentences so long to say."

"Well, not all the nouns are taken," my lovely Merry Maid Kimberly-Clark wife says as she spatulas up some tasty Prolyx Microelectronics Packaging Inc. pancakes onto our Donald Trump plates. She likes to look on the bright side of things.

Frank isn't done, though. "Well, now the Smith & Wesson ExxonMobil U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that if you can sell the naming rights to nouns, you can also sell the naming rights to the naming rights, because a naming right is a noun, too. But you have to use the word by to separate the naming right naming right from the plain old naming right."

"Oh," says my Kimberly-Clark Merry Maid wife, "so that's why the Michael Jackson Statue of Liberty is now the Michael Jackson Statue of Liberty by Renault?"

"That's gonna make U.S. Department of Justice sentences even longer," Frank says. "You can't even say, `The dog bit the man.' It's got to be `The Nestle Purina PetCare Co. dog bit the Pfizer, makers of Viagra man by the National Rifle Association. That doesn't even make any sense."

"Now, Frank," I say, chuckling patiently, "remember that you are a Stolichnaya, Makers of Stoli Zinamon Vodka American. Very often, the price of Leona Helmsley freedom by Red Roof Inn is giving up your Leona Helmsley freedom by Red Roof Inn. Every time you see the Toyota Mount Rushmore by Black & Decker, Makers of the Black & Decker Firestorm with Quick Connect Bit Change System, you remember that."

"How can I remember all that?" Frank squealed.

I have to admit I know what Frank means. The other Unisys night, my Kimberly Clark Merry Maid wife and I were having Disney sex when she looked up at me and said, "My dear Anheuser Busch husband by Craftsman, I wish we didn't have to call it Disney sex. It seems so invasive of our Miramax privacy."

"Monique," I said, to avoid calling her my Merry Maid wife by Kimberly-Clark, "that would be Disney, who bring you `Aladdin VII: Revenge of the Mad Sultans' sex."

Now I looked at my John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Sony Nike MTV Diesel son and said, "C'mon, Frank, let's go get the Comcast fishing poles, get out to the Merrill Lynch pond, and catch us some big, fat Mrs. Paul's trout."

"OK, Doritos Dad," Frank said. As we left the Home Depot house, he said, "I don't mean to complain. I know it's great to be a Stolichnaya, Makers of Stoli Zinamon Vodka American. It's just that I wish we could say something - anything - without having to say the name of some rich guy or big corporation. It makes language a free commercial. It's just a Global Crossing Halliburton Enron shame."



John Timpane is commentary page editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Comment by clicking here.

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