Among the Washington Post's endorsements in the Virginia House of Delegates is an incumbent from Fairfax named Eileen Filler-Corn. It's quite a mouthful—and a bit distracting. Remember the New Hampshire Democratic Senate candidate who challenged Republican Bob Smith in 1996? His name was Dick Swett (he went on to become ambassador to Denmark). These are unfortunate instances and often it's parents who are to blame. But why not change your name rather than go through life amid smirks and giggles? Former George editor Dick Blow did this (though in my opinion a few years too late) when he decided to change his name to Richard Bradley, his mother's maiden name. And then there's the Olympic swimmer Staciana Stitts—she did the breaststroke (I am not kidding).
Luckily for Staciana, she married and now her name is Stitts Winfield—also a mouthful but better than hearing people ask how they like Staciana Stitts. Of course there was the recent dustup when the Fargo Forum ran a caption that included the name of one Haywood Jablome. (This has occurred several times, such as in 2003 when a man who protested in support of the all-men's Augusta National told reporters his name, too, was Haywood Jablome.) Obviously there is no one by that name but the looks on the reporters' faces while scribbling this down must've been priceless.