Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Too Many Waynes

One of the fine books ever written is The Sneetches and Other Stories. One story in that collection is "Too Many Daves." At the risk of a stop-and-desist order, I include the story below in its entirety.

Did I ever tell you that Mrs. McCave
Had twenty-three sons, and she named them all Dave?
Well, she did. And that wasn't a smart thing to do.
You see, when she wants one, and calls out "Yoo-Hoo!
Come into the house, Dave!" she doesn't get one.
All twenty-three Daves of hers come on the run!

This makes things quite difficult at the McCaves'
As you can imagine, with so many Daves.

And often she wishes that, when they were born,
She had named one of them Bodkin Van Horn.
And one of them Hoos-Foos. And one of them Snimm.
And one of them Hot-Shot. And one Sunny Jim.
And one of them Shadrack. And one of them Blinkey.
And one of them Stuffy. And one of them Stinkey.
Another one Putt-Putt. Another one Moon Face.
Another one Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face.
And one of them Ziggy. And one Soggy Muff.
One Buffalo Bill. And one Biffalo Buff.
And one of them Sneepy. And one Weepy Weed.
And one Paris Garters. And one Harris Tweed.
And one of them Sir Michael Carmichael Zutt.
And one of them Oliver Boliver Butt.
And one of them Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate . . . .
But she didn't do it. And now it's too late.
Chuck Shepard, at his blog News of the Wierd, notes that a disproportionate number of notorious murderers have the middle name of Wayne. I hadn't thought about it before, but he's right. John Wayne Gacy immediately comes to mind. At Chuck's site, he presents his list of 224 instances. He stopped counting in March of 2008.

I decided to check my database of people executed by Texas for people named Wayne. I found 21 out of 464. That's almost 5% of the total. In each case, Wayne was the middle name. Never the first name, never the last name, always the middle name.

If Texas executes Michael Wayne Hall on 15 February, as they are scheduled to do, he will be number 22.


Anonymous said...

Ironically, the next execution in Texas on Feb 22---Timothy WAYNE Adams. He will be number 23.

tsj said...

I missed that, Anon. Good catch. I changed my impending execution list accordingly.

Anonymous said...

It appears from several different sources that about 1% or slightly fewer people in the general population have a middle name of Wayne. So people on death row appear to be five times more likely to have the name.

tsj said...

Now that's interesting. The implications are actually quite startling.

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