Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bill Gates Owes Me Money

And with the baby girl on the way, it couldn't come at a better time!

As part of some marketing tool, Microsoft and AOL are running an email beta test. I received the email in question today and discovered that for every person I forwarded it to, I would receive $245.00. For every person I forwarded the email to who later forwarded it to someone else, I would receive $243.00. Etc, etc.

So what did I do, you ask? Promptly, I forwarded the subject email to 20 friends. Yes, that means I have at the least $4900 coming to me. Pay up, Mr. Gates, I want my money. Baby Girl O'Rourke will be here soon...


Yes, this isn't real. Nate Green, one of the unfortunate souls I sent this to on a lark, was quick to send me this link explaining the origin of the hoax.

Am I dupe? Yes. Did it give me something to blog about? Yes. Fair trade. Matter of fact, I think that puts me ahead.

Thank you, Bill Gates and all you Internet pranksters out there.


seana said...

Brian, have you considered naming Baby Girl O'Rourke 'Bing'? Because that might actually pay some bills if you play it right, as Microsoft is trying to launch their new search engine of the same name. Although as has already proved true on another blog, "Bing"ers actually sound like something else if you leave out the quotation marks...

But it's nothing that a cute little photogenic baby couldn't fix.

True, it doesn't sound very girly, but we do live in the post-gender label world, don't we?

Brian O'Rourke said...


I like the way you think. Baby Bing has a nice ring to it, wouldn't you say?

Speaking of post-gender label world, a friend of a friend named their baby girl "Marlow." I always thought that was more a boy's name, but that just proves I'm still living in the twentieth century.

seana said...

Well, there's Marlo Thomas, so it might not be quite as avant garde as you think. But I think people will still probably take more risks with girls names than boys. Very few boys named Sue even today. Although there might be a few boys named Sioux in Santa Cruz. It's the kind of thing that could happen.

Jenna said...

Speaking of gender-bending names, I love the name Darcy for a girl, but some people have said it is a boy's name (really?). Also, I loved the name Julian for a son (not relevant right now, of course), but Brian seemed to think [and he's not alone] that it is a bit feminine and might result in serious teasing. I didn't care... Easy for me to say, given the creative (and horrible) names my classmates came up with call me.

That being said, I think the 3 girls names we've narrowed down to are pretty traditional and I actually found a website of baby names where people with the name can post as to how much/in what way they've been teased because of their name. Scary, right?

BTW, I read this blog posted and hoped against hope that my hubby really hadn't forwarded on the e-mail and that it was a cruel, cruel joke.

marco said...

From The Herring Seller's Apprentice:

"My parents did not like me either. They called me Ethelred. My father’s assurance that I was named after King Ethelred I (866-871) and not Ethelred the Unready (978-1016) was little consolation to a seven-year-old whose friends all called him ‘Ethel’. I experimented with ‘Red’ for a while, but for some reason it never did catch on amongst my acquaintances. Oh, and my second name is Hengist, in case you were about to ask. Ethelred Hengist Tressider. It has never surprised anyone that I might prefer to be known as Amanda Collins."

Though it's not that he changed sex due to the Ethel-baiting - Amanda Collins is the pen name under which he writes romance novels.

seana said...

Very nice, Marco.

Jenna, Julian would work in Santa Cruz and England, but Philadelphia I couldn't say. Julian Lennon and Julian Barnes should have given the kid some crediblity, though.

But as you say, not an issue.

Seems like Ethelred would be a good one to avoid for either gender, though. A name that very likely will never come back in fashion, I'd waqer. Except probably for pets.

Brian O'Rourke said...


Even better, we could spell Ethelred with the ash, that weird looking "ae" letter (i.e. AEthelred). Because kids don't have a hard enough time in school.

Brian O'Rourke said...


It's time I came clean. James Patterson is one of my pseudonyms.

Brian O'Rourke said...


Yeah, though now that I look at Julian, I think it's a pretty cool name, especially considering its origins.

Besides, I'm being hypocritical. Whenever someone made fun of a name they'd never heard of before, often calling it "made up," I was the first to point out that in fact ALL names are made up. Some were just made up longer ago than others.

But now if you ask me if such and such a name would be good for a boy or a girl, I fall right back into the conventional trappings.

seana said...

You know, growing up in my era as Seana was no piece of cake. It's hard when even your grade school teachers don't know how to pronounce your name.

No, actually, when it's obscure, kids don't really know what to do with it. I got more "Graham cracker" jokes than anything on my first name. Which I suppose only goes to prove that there is always going to be something.

But I will stress that Aethelred should be shunned. Because any child with that name in the new millennium will be.

adrian mckinty said...

Its a girl, eh? Somehow missed that. Molly is a good name.

Yes she'll be a walking cliche but I doubt she'll have any angst filled identity crises like the rest of us.

Brian O'Rourke said...


Wow, I never would have thought Seana would have been a tough one to pronounce. And I can't give any of your tormentors creativity points for Graham Cracker - that one's too obvious. Unless of course they were actually saying "Graham Cracka" which is a little funny.

But you're right. If kids want to, they will find a way to make fun of any name.

Brian O'Rourke said...


It just so happens Molly is one of the three names left on our list at the moment.

But I have to disagree with your other point. This kid will have half my chromosomes, so there's a 50/50 chance she'll be riddled with angst for most of her life.

adrian mckinty said...

well then Molly O'Rouke FTW!

seana said...

I was in grade school before Sean Connery got well known here, so even Sean was not all that common. It would be a lot easier now. It's funny, now I think about it, that there were absolutely no Seans in my Dad's big Irish Catholic family--some Johns though. Wonder if there was some shame around the Gaelic involved somewhere in the past.

At any rate, Sean slipped in through the back door--and new-fangled California because one of my young cousins back in Illinois was in turn named after me. They do really like to name people after other relatives, which hasn't carried on in our branch of the family at all.

marco said...

Why not Vanessa, or Arianna, Jennifer, Valerie, Melinda, Maeve (instead of Molly)?

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