Monday, October 12, 2009

The Dead Chris Smiths? Sounds like a cross between 1980s punk bands the Dead Kennedys and the Smiths, doesn’t it?

I’m still reveling in the treasure trove of ostensible statistical anomaly attaching to this vanilla-flavored name. I found it quite remarkable, back in the summer of 2007, to learn the Social Security Death Index turned up two and only two Christopher Smiths. While that number has since grown to 29, even 29 is miniscule against the backdrop of 1,672 dead Elmer Smiths. How many guys named Elmer have you ever known?

Granted, the name Elmer, though long since passé, may well have had its day in the sun. But can its day in the sun have so thoroughly eclipsed that of the classic Christopher?

Actuarially, things get curiouser. Of the 29 dead Chris Smiths, only one was born before the 1950s. Twenty-three of the 29 were born after January 1, 1960! As my daughter Lena waxes nubile, I’m advising her to steer clear of any prospective suitors bearing this inauspicious name.