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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: William and Susanna Plus 1?

According to something I read, today is the birthday of the first child born to the Pilgrims in New England.

It happened in 1620, and the baby’s name was Peregrine White.

Yes, that’s right. His parents were William and Susanna, and they named the newborn Peregrine.

So it would seem that the idea of employing “creative” baby names goes back a ways. And here I thought this trend was relatively new.

OK, I know what you’re thinking: “Wasn’t that the name of the kid in the recent Balloon Boy hoax?”

No, that poor child’s first name is Falcon.

Now to be fair to Bill and Susie White, the word “peregrine” does refer to travel or migration. So a case could be made for giving little Perey that moniker.

I can’t say for sure. But I’m willing to guess that Bill White wasn’t an attention-craving nitwit. Well, at least not the kind that wants to be on a reality show.

But if they had such diversions back then, what would those shows have been called? It’s anyone’s guess. But I’ll go first.

“Survivor: Plymouth Rock.” Contestants compete with indigenous population to eat grubs and establish real estate claims.

“Colonial Idol.” Maize-fed settlers belt out hymns.

“Dancing with Squanto.” Pilgrims shake their booty with D-list Indian celebs.

“America’s Next Top Wasp.” Leggy Pre-Puritans badmouth the pope.

“The Indentured Apprentice.” Will thee be Myles Standish’s assistant?

“Fear Factor.” Bears and big cats smell the blood of a scarlet-letter Englishman.

“Project Mayflower.” The search for fashion’s new black.

“The Unreal World.” Whiny teen Pilgrims hang out by the hearth while the viewing audience wishes a pox upon them.

OK, your turn.

Today’s Slice question: If you were going to name a human baby after a bird, which would you pick?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; fax (509) 459-5098; e-mail pault@spokesman.com. The actress who played Joan Holloway in “Mad Men” spent part of her childhood in Idaho.

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