f you listen to my daughter Rebecca — and let me assure all skeptics I have no doubt but to do so — the whole “big deal” in Ukraine is all about a name. Ukraine, you see, is just, well, an annoying name for a country, and if she were Russia she might not be too happy. Ukraine sounds too much like a construction company — Toy-Crane — or an ancient Chinese leader — You Ming — or even a rapper she’s dubbed U-Tubed. The “aine” part she can live with, but the the U followed by the K followed by, of all things, an R, well that’s just a bit much.
Rebecca has had an opinion about names since she could talk. When she found out I was Joel she said, “no,” then “why?” and finally giggled. That was fine until she decided Joel was Joey, which is when I turned to behaving somewhat like Ukraine, complaining to her inner Russia I never had been and never would be a Joey, whether in America now or in the Mind Dynasty when Ukrainians ruled.
I will say this for Rebecca, she’s a constructive critic. In my case she thought Peter might be a cool name, or even Jason, and if I could compromise a little we could live happily ever after, or at least until her freshman year in college (when I’m not sure what’s supposed to happen: maybe more name changes).
In any case, she said the whole “uke” crisis would disappear if the leaders of its capital, by her anointed Kev, would just get together, tell the Russians to chill, and change the country’s name to, say, The Madison Gated Community, or TMGC — no doubt another hip-hop star I missed in my eighties youth. TMGC would be pure chill and the Russian guy, Pluto, wouldn’t have a thing more to complain about. He’d become a male groupie with a mask.
I have to say I like simple solutions to complex political problems I know nothing about because I don’t know anything about them and simple is a lot easier on the mind than CNN, when it comes to Pluto or COVID. I do have my doubts about The Madison Gated Community, worrying just a little Mr. Pluto might get in a huff over the gated part.
But Rebecca reassured me the gate would always be open to anyone with a code, which you could download from the TMGC app.
But what if the app didn’t work?
Apps always work when it comes to countries, otherwise how do you let your stray cat back in when you spot him from the castle wall? Apps are girls, who unlike boys are functional, and no, I ain’t going there.
Since Rebecca is an avid lover of maps and places, I did ask her for a list of other potential name changes.
Botswana became Bodyland (don’t ask) and Brazil just Bra, because who really needs the “il” and she’ll be a teen soon. France would become Mois, because she really wants to live there, preferably obtaining ownership rights as well. Indonesia is way too long and might be Indy, if that weren’t close to India. As for Pakistan we come full circle back to Ukraine. Rebecca’s Pakistan would be The Snogate Palace Gated Community, including all mountains, open 9-to-5 free of change, with special guides to those most responsible for having made Ukraine see reason and change its name, each tourist from the former Ukraine given a free TMGC t-shirt and a milkshake in honor of war averted.