Mary Cheves West Perky and a Public Service Message on Funny Name Waste

Funny Name Ranger: Hey kids, ready to go Funny Name Huntin’?

Kids: Yayyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!

Ranger: Well, grab your baskets and let’s get goin’!



Billy (shocked): Hey!

Betty: Oh, no!

Bobby: Name Ranger, all the funny names are gone!!!

Ranger: Uh-ohhh. Dangnurbit, it looks like Wasteful Wendy’s been through, taking all the Funny Names and not leaving any for us! I guess we’re just gonna have to try again next time, kids.

Kids: Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!


Ranger: Now, hold on! Isn’t this a perfect opportunity to remember about Funny Name Waste?

Kids: I guess sooooooooooooooo . . .

Ranger: When yer out huntin’ funny names, how many should yuh get?

Bobby: Just one!

Ranger: Darn tootin’! And why is that?

Billy: Because you can only use them once.

Betty: And you have to leave enough for other people.

Ranger: You got it! All together now . . .


Betty: Name Ranger, Name Ranger, look what I found!!!

Ranger: Well, I’ll be horse’s uncle! It looks like Wasteful Wendy didn’t get everything after all. Whatcha got there, Betty?

Betty: Mary Cheves West Perky!

All: (Uproarious laughter)

Ranger: Well, that’s just a humdinger of a Funny Name! And wouldn’t you know it? My Supermagically Fabulous Funny Name Field Guide has a page all about her! Dja like to hear what it says?

Kids: Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ranger: C.W. Perky was a scientist who used something that was brand new back then: puttin’ images up on a screen, or what we call movies! She did a bunch of experiments that have

a classic, even mythic, status in the literature on imagery. Perky asked her subjects to fixate a point on a screen in front of them and to visualize various objects there, such as a tomato, a book, a leaf, a banana, an orange, or a lemon. As the subjects did this, and unbeknownst to them, a faint patch of color, of an appropriate size and shape, and just above the normal threshold of visibility, was back projected . . . onto the screen. [N]one of Perky’s subjects . . . ever realized that they were experiencing real percepts; they took what they “saw” on the screen to be entirely the products of their imagination. In fact, however, the projections did influence their experiences: some subjects expressed surprise at finding themselves imagining a banana “upright” rather than the horizontally oriented one they had been trying for . . . On the other hand, purely imaginary details were also reported: One subject could “see” the veins of the leaf . . .

Billy: Hey Ranger, that sounds like the Stroop Effect!

Ranger: It sure does! And you know, it is like the Stroop Effect, because it teaches us oodles of important stuff about our brains. But yuh know, it’s even neater, ’cause it shows us just how golshdurn wonderful our imagination is! Well, did you all have a good time Funny Name Huntin’ today?

Kids: Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!

Ranger: Then, let’s head on back home!

This dramatization has been brought to you by the Council for Humorous Name Conservation (CHuNC).


About wdydfae

Parasitizing YouTube and guest posting on BoFN for more than a decade.
This entry was posted in funny names in science and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Mary Cheves West Perky and a Public Service Message on Funny Name Waste

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  2. ksbeth says:

    such a lovely one-act play and i love the name too. mcwp would be flattered

  3. amb says:

    Diddy !!! This might be my favourite thing you’ve ever written. My goodness it made me laugh. A lot. At the office. Was a little awkward, actually 😉

  4. Arto says:

    Well gosh darn (excuse my French), this was absolutely delightful. If the CHuNC is having any fundraising events in the near future, I assure you I am available for balloon animals and food puns any time.

  5. What a hoot. Well done! I’ll try not to be a Wasteful Wendy. Love the post!

    How do I sign up for CHuNC? 😉

  6. Dave says:

    I was totally delighted by the idea of kids going “Yaaaaaayyyyyy!” all the time. It’s amazing how ingrained that sound is, after all those children’s TV shows.

    As for me, I’m a believer in the theory of Funny Names Abundance (FuNAb) – there are so many funny names to go around…we’ve barely scratched the surface! 🙂

    • wdydfae says:

      Thanks! I see a major philosophical divide developing between adherents of FuNAb and SHuN (Scarcity of Humorous Names), of which I seem I presently seem to be the sole adherent.

  7. Liz says:

    teeheeheehee! That’s fantastic, diddy! You’ve done so many amazing things here. And I think I will count them right now in this comment.

    1) Made a strong (though invalid, sorry, but I agree with Dave–plenty of funny names to go around) point.
    2) Entertained in a completely original manner–didn’t see that one coming.
    3) Put the Funny Names Waster offenders in their place, without having to resort to mean-spirited methods.
    4) Edged into Dave’s Science territory. Really mixing it up around here!
    5) Offered the world more pictures of cute kids because there will never be enough of those.
    6) Made amb laugh while she was in CW.
    7) Made Arto speak French.
    8) Came up with another acronym for another cause, though I don’t see you fully supporting it based on your half-hearted commitment to the organization you formed to keep amb from burning out. (you still owe me for the printing of the flyers, btw)

    That’s all I got. Loved your post so so much. Though I will also mention how hard it is going to be for the other contributors now. Going to be tough to top.

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