Characterizing his idea at the time as “brilliant,” local father, Bill Sumner, 60, now admits his scheme has failed miserably.
Although Sumner was initially hesitant to admit the scheme’s failure, the occasion of his sixtieth birthday – and the subsequent visitation of his five children, Wal-Mart, Golden Corral, Ford, Coke and Lakewood Church – convinced him thoroughly that, indeed, his plan to make a fortune by naming his children after financially successful entities, was a bust.
“In 1975, when my first son was born, I thought, as a lark, I’d name him something like ‘The University of Texas at Austin.’ Then, some years later, I’d have him get a job at the bursars office at UT. Who would know,” said Sumner, “if a couple of tuition checks went missing? And who would catch us? The check would be made out to our son!”
Sumner’s wife, Blanche, would not name the child after the school in Austin as she was a Baylor alumna. She was convinced, however, to name the child after the retail giant, Wal-Mart. Three more children soon followed, Coke, Ford and Golden Corral (the Sumner’s were huge fans of the buffet-style, all you can eat, steak house at the time of Golden Corral’s consummation and ensuing birth).
The Sumner’s hope for their children was simple: to get jobs at the companies they were named after. They would then slowly, but surely, embezzle enough money for the entire family to retire early.
Cracks began to show in the surefire plan when Wal-Mart received a full academic scholarship to Cal-Berkeley. Within his first semester, Wal-Mart sent a post card to his parents informing them he was now a card carrying socialist, and would not be partaking in their scheme.
Soon, the other children began showing traits in their respective personalities that would render Sumner’s plan completely useless. Ford grew up to be an avid Chevrolet fan. Golden Corral a strict vegan. Coke was the only child who even came close to perpetuating his parents plan, but even that didn’t go exactly as the Sumner’s would have liked. Coke is currently in his third rehab stint for an addiction to crack cocaine.
Eleven years ago the Sumner’s took one last shot by naming their most recent son Lakewood Church. Sumner explained, “Joel Osteen had just formed that mega church in Houston. That guy fills the old basketball arena on Sundays. We figured this would be easy pickings, what with people writing checks for the offering and all.” Sadly, though, at the age of eleven, Lakewood Church is already an ardent atheist.
The failure of his naming scheme has made Sumner somewhat philosophical now. “I’ve been reading about these so-called ‘terror babies’ lately,” said Sumner, “and I’m hear to tell you that is bogus. Not because it’s far-fetched, mind you, but because you just never know how your kids will turn out. You can’t guarantee that your child will hate the United States of America enough to blow his or herself up on a suicide bombing mission twenty or so years from now. You put that kind of pressure on the kid and he’ll turn out to be a hippie on par with Jerry Garcia.”