A boy named IUMA

A future ditty by Iuma Dylan-Lucas Thornhill, whose parents just won $5,000 for naming him after a Web site.

By Carina Chocano
Published August 29, 2000 7:00PM (EDT)

My daddy was stoked when I was born
'Cause a site was payin', and it wasn't porn
Just a place where indie rock was Big Kahuna!
Now, I understand he'd smoked his stash
But he must have been high or low on cash
'Cause the freak he went and named me Iuma.

I guess he thought he was a star
With his five-grand check and his free PR
And his hardcore band and alterna-sense of humor.
But I was stuck with an acronym
In a town full of boys named "Garth" and "Tim"
I tell ya, life ain't easy for a boy named "Iuma."

It didn't help to try and explain
That my handle was no girlie name --
it was unisex -- as this did not appease them.
So I made a vow on the moon in the sky
That I'd track down the cold marketing guy
Who hatched this stupid stunt and then I'd sue him.

Alas, my happy childhood stopped
the day IUMA's stock price dropped
And a monolithic media empire came and snagged it.
My name was trademarked, the lawyers said,
As they plucked me from my race-car bed
And claimed me as a liquid corporate asset.

Well, I wouldn't wish it on another boy,
What I went through in that firm's employ
Was more than a dot-com kid should have to stand.
And as I lay in my cubicle late at night,
I thought real hard about my plight
And about my lazy father's lame-ass band.

Now owned by an agglomeration,
Their tunes just failed to thrill the nation,
And pretty soon IUMA was no more.
They laid me off, and I went gladly
To find the crackpot who named me badly
And tell him that he was a corporate whore.

Well, it wasn't hard to find my home,
Dad worked at Starbucks, making foam
And all his hip tattoos were blue and sagging.
He looked at me without a clue
And asked, "What can I get for you?"
And I said:

"My name is Iuma! You gave it to me! Now where's my money?"

He said: "Son, this world's expensive, you know
If a man's gonna make it, he's gonna need dough
And I knew I had no skills that I could speak of.
So I sold out cheap, but I sold out good,
It was either that or work fast food
And the chicks don't dig it when it's grease you reek of."

He said: "Now you just had one hell of a time
And you've been exploited, haven't seen a dime
And I wouldn't blame you if you did sue me or sue Ma.
But you ought to thank me -- I'm still unknown! --
For the billboards that your mug's been on
'Cause I'm the son-of-a-bitch that named you Iuma."

I got all choked up and I dropped my subpoena
And I called him my Pa, and he called me Iuma,
And I came away with a different point of view.
When I think about him now, out of the blue --
every time I'm gypped, every time I'm used,
I think, if I ever have a son

I'm gonna name him Texaco! Or Nabisco! Something lucrative! Anything but Iuma! I was robbed!

Carina Chocano

Carina Chocano writes about TV for Salon. She is the author of "Do You Love Me or Am I Just Paranoid?" (Villard).

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