A Burt by any other name is just as confused
Burt's Eye View
I need a name change.
It seems that to succeed in life, one needs great talent, a delightful personality, stunningly good looks or a really cool name.
My option was obvious. A nom de plume it is.
Mom and Dad planned to name me Martha Louise, but I didn’t cooperate. So they settled on Burton.
Burton Cole seems to confuse people. Folks can’t figure out if I have two first names or two last names.
So rebranding seems to be in order. Maybe something like Grandmaster B, Quentin Q. Quigglesworth or Santa Cole Claus (I bear a striking resemblance).
It worked for Marion Morrison. He became a revered icon after changing his name to John Wayne.
Well, OK, he also had talent, personality and looks, but still, a rugged cowboy fighter named Mary?
Ohio boy Leonard Slye sang his way through a ton of movies after swapping his original moniker for Roy Rogers. Archibald Leach morphed into quite the dashing hero as Cary Grant.
And when Humphrey Bogart changed his name to … No, wait, Humphrey Bogart was his given name. Why change when you already have Humphrey Bogart going for you? As for my handle — Burtie doesn’t seem to bear that Bogie ring.
Wrestlers beef up their names. After all, which sounds more intimidating, Aurelian Smith Jr. or Jake “The Snake” Roberts? Terrence Gerin or Rhino? Terry Bollea or Hulk Hogan?
Musicians are the maestros of made-up monikers. Just ask Saul Hudson, Paul Hewson and Reginald Dwight. No clue? They’re better known as Slash, Bono and Elton John.
I could try Burton King Cole.
Back in 1965, a struggling singer named Arnold Dorsey had the voice but not the success. Perhaps Arnold was too common. Or the Dorsey name had listeners expecting a trombone solo.
So a friend suggested a slight name change. Arnie tried on Engelbert Humperdinck for size. It worked. That’s the name you’ll find on the Billboard hits charts in the 1960s and 1970s.
It’s practically a federal law that rap singers change their names. Hence, Calvin Broadus switched to Snoop Dogg, Trevor Smith Jr. took on Busta Rhymes and Tramar Dillard became Flo Rida.
The guy from Black-Eyed Peas, William Adams, just fancied up his given name into will.i.am. I considered going that route. Bur.T.On? Bu.R.Ton?
Instead, I decided to go with the scientific method — I found fake name generators on the Internet.
Here are some of the choices websites selected for me that Mom and Dad didn’t: Ricky L. Salvador; Sterling Rigsby; Darwin Huntley; Chunky SmackDown; Duke Albert Peachornby-Rawlin; Dinodas Chubb-Baggins.
You know, I’m beginning to rethink this whole renaming name game. Burton Cole feels comfy, like a favorite sweatshirt. And it saves all the hassle of changing all my ID cards and accounts.
Plus, I don’t want to give Mom and Dad another chance at that Martha Louise thing. I suppose I could go as M.L. Cole…
— Whatever name you use, you can contact Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook.