Name: Mr and Mrs Amazing.
Appearance: Officially Amazing.
Are they married superheroes? Possibly, but unlikely.
How did they come by such an unusual and hard-to-live-up-to surname? They paid for it.
Who did they buy it from? No one. The Amazings are just two of the 85,000 people who legally changed their names by deed poll last year.
They’re being silly, then. Not as silly as the man who changed his name to Bacon Double Cheeseburger.
Why did he do that? “Bacon Double Cheeseburger was the first name I came up with,” he said.
What could he possibly have been called for before, that he felt Bacon Double Cheeseburger constituted an improvement? He was called Simon.
Fair play to him. What other monikers have people have chosen? Bruce Wayne, Penelope Pitstop, Cristiano Ronaldo, Sarge Metalfatigue and Happy Birthday, to name but a few.
It sounds to me as if this procedure isn’t expensive enough. Actually, it doesn’t cost anything. You can even make your own form. But if you want your deed poll enrolled with the courts, it costs £36.
What if I decide I don’t like my new name? You can change it as many times as you like, for any reason besides fraud.
Are there no rules at all? Names such as Jesus and Satan are forbidden, because they’re blasphemous. And first names can’t be anything that is also a rank or title, such as Sir, Lord, Duke, Professor or Doctor.
That’s all my best ideas gone. I might change my name to “password123”, so I only have one thing to remember. Sorry, no numbers or symbols are allowed. And surnames are limited to 50 characters.
What are some non-stupid reasons for changing your name? You might want a new identity to go with your new gender, or so you can hide from an abusive partner. Last year, a student changed his name by deed poll because it was cheaper than getting Ryanair to alter the name on his ticket.
Do say: “Next door’s bins are in our front garden again. Bloody Amazings.”
Don’t say: “We don’t serve Bacon Double Cheeseburgers here. This is Starbucks. Now tell me your name so I can write it on the cup.”