To: Allen Wastler,
Dear Mr. Wastler,
I would suggest that Enron change its name to Bob. Bob imparts a sense of boyish innocence, and is virtually always a good guy. Bob is so common and ubiquitous a name that it seems to lend its bearer an innocuous cloak of anonymity - as opposed to the evil and very unique "Enron."
Enron reminds me of Darth Vader. Both parts of the name are unsalvageable now. You're not going to name your kid Darth, any more than you would Vader, are you? Now, by association, even the name Ron is shot. I think that the Rons of this world might want to look into a lawsuit against
Enron for mucking up their name. Ren would be the worst, though, as it would combine the En with the Ron, although Ren from Ren and Stimpy or Kevin Bacon as Ren in Footloose might be just enough to save that name from En-ruin.
Back to Bob. How many Bobs out there are negatively portrayed by the media? I think that we all sort of benefit by our association with the great Bob Hope -- the nicest guy ever. Then there's the Bob and Tom Show, and Bob the Builder -- both much-loved. And there's the immortal Bob Barker from The Price Is Right.
In a 1999 poll, Bob came in ahead of Northwest Territories as the better name for that Canadian province, but leave it to the Canadians to look a gift horse in the mouth -- Bob was disqualified. There's the not-so-new craze over NBA Bobbleheads. And, there's bobbing for apples now there's a wholesome activity if there ever was one.
I've heard there's a bridge somewhere calle Bob. I've also heard that Bill Gates once wanted to name an operating system Bob, but was overruled -- although that begs the question: Who is there to overrule Bill Gates?
I think that Andy Fastow and Ken Lay could benefit from name changes, as well, although Andy and Ken are pretty innocuous names themselves. Jeffrey Skilling really needs a name change. Neither "Jeffrey" nor "Skilling" is a very good name to have when you're attempting to dodge an all-out media feeding frenzy. Jeffreys tend to be overly formal, sort of snotty, I think -- like a boarding school kid you want to beat up. And Skilling -- if that doesn't bring to min thoughts of a skillet (and as a gerund, too), I don't know what would.
In sum, Mr. Wastler, I submit that Bob is synonymous with good, and Enro could really use some of that nowadays. Why, I bet you that if Enron changed its name to Bob tomorrow, this whole sordid affair would evaporate into thin air faster than money off an Enron balance sheet.
Very truly yours,