When the conversation recently strayed to the dangerous subject of baby names, I knew I should have get my mouth shut.
A friend’s daughter is heavily pregnant, and armed with the ultrasonic evidence she is carrying a boy, has been trying to find a name to fit for months.
She is certain she wants her son’s first name to begin with ‘B’ so it resonates with the family name.
The short list includes Bali, Bayleigh, Bejay, Bijan, Bracy, Braydon and – barf with bells on – Brockley.
Looking at the associated meaning it all becomes too much. To think the son of a third generation wheat farmer risks being named after a blinking badger meadow.
“What about Bruce,” I blurt out breathlessly.
“I can’t believe you would even suggest that,” the bountiful one says clasping her hands to the imagined ears of the burgeoning bump.
Once upon a time the name Bruce was considered as Australian as beer, B&S balls, blowies, barbies and billabongs.
And, perhaps that’s what did for Bruce.
He became a cliché that could not be saved by the combined efforts of Bruce Lee, Bruce Springsteen and Bruce Willis, much less Bruce McAvaney, Bruce Baird … even with the backing of the whole suburb of Canberra.
The very last Bruce to take a mark for the AFL was Bruce Doull, the Carlton defender known as “The Flying Doormat” who played his last match in the early ’80s.
It seems since then there has been nary a Bruce born.
Bring Bruce back, I say, but let’s be really “creative” and make her a girl.