This post provides the answers to two significant questions:
1. What’s the best way to get a funny name worthy of a spot on this blog? Simple – it’s through an awesome parent, who gives you a name like Taffy, Gutzon, Bitsie or Salmon. A good first name can singlehandedly make a name awesome, but it helps if your parents also had a whimsical last name like Vanderbilt, or if your dad, Outerbridge Horsey X, bequeaths you the name Outerbridge Horsey X+1.
2. What’s the best way to get onto this blog at age 14? Well, unless you’re the child of a celebrity, in which case the “wacky name and a touch of fame” is yours at birth, then the best way is as follows: fulfill the requirements for question 1, be splendidly precocious, and have a parent who helps make you a star.
That’s what happened with Izzy Skenazy, who is by far the youngest inductee yet.
Lenore Skenazy – herself a worthy candidate for this blog – in a truly selfless act, gave her son a name that would make “Piano Legs” Hickman feel dull: Izzy Skenazy (last name pronounced “Skuh-nay-zee”).
OK, but what did he do?
Well, at age 9, Izzy wanted to ride the New York subway alone. Lenore – being the cool mom to end all cool moms – decided to let him do so, and then wrote about her experiences in 2008 for her publication, the New York Sun.
It stirred up tremendous controversy nationwide. Amid all the hubbub, word of this story reached Penn & Teller, who featured Izzy Skenazy prominently on Season 6, Episode 8 of their show Bullshit!, addressing the topic of overly protective parents. Izzy rode the subway again (this time with a camera crew), gave a very lucid monologue about freedom and self-empowerment, and we assume he’s now living the life that all of us would if we had moms as cool as Lenore Skenazy.
So not only is Izzy Skenazy a God among men in the awesome name department, he’s also a certified badass – I’ve known adults afraid to ride subway systems alone – and had an IMDB profile at an age when most of his classmates believed in the tooth fairy.