Inkachoo Pinkachoo Sinkachoo Tinkachoo

Some nights, my two older kids – Gabrielle, 8, and Ethan, 4 – beg me to make up and tell them a story. I used to quite often spontaneously make up and tell a new story, but I haven’t done it for a long time. Tonight I did, and this is the tale that I told.

(Or, at least, this is what I remember of it!)

Inkachoo Pinkachoo Sinkachoo Tinkachoo was the saddest boy in the whole world. No one would ever talk to him.

No one in his family ever said anything to him. No one in his class ever said anything to him. And even no one at his church said anything to him.

The problem was his name. It was just too long.

No one wanted to say: “Inkachoo Pinkachoo Sinkachoo Tinkachoo, can you please pass me the salt?” No one wanted to say “Inkachoo Pinkachoo Sinkachoo Tinkachoo, come play soccer with us.” And no one ever wanted to say “Inkachoo Pinkachoo Sinkachoo Tinkachoo come help me quickly!”

Inkachoo Pinkachoo Sinkachoo Tinkachoo’s name was so long that people forgot it. And sometimes when they remembered the beginning of it and might have thought about starting to say something to Inkachoo Pinkachoo Sinkachoo Tinkachoo, they forgot the ending of it.

Inkachoo Pinkachoo Sinkachoo Tinkachoo was so sad, he cried in his room for a night and day and another night and another day and yet another night and yet another day, and by the end of all this, his room was absolutely swimming in salt water and Inkachoo Pinkachoo Sinkachoo Tinkachoo could float right out of his own bed.

But at the end of 4 nights and days, Inkachoo Pinkachoo Sinkachoo Tinkachoo had an idea.

He needed a new name. And Inkachoo Pinkachoo Sinkachoo Tinkachoo knew how he was going to get it: a naming contest.

Inkachoo Pinkachoo Sinkachoo Tinkachoo decided he would hold a naming contest, and the prize would be a million dollars. The only problem was that Inkachoo Pinkachoo Sinkachoo Tinkachoo didn’t have a million dollars. He didn’t even have a thousand dollars. In fact, he didn’t even have a hundred dollars. The solution, Inkachoo Pinkachoo Sinkachoo Tinkachoo decided, was that the grand prize would be a million and one thank-you’s.

So the very next day, Inkachoo Pinkachoo Sinkachoo Tinkachoo told everyone in his family, and everyone at school, and everyone at church, that he was having a naming contest – for himself. And that the winner would win a million thanks from – – whatever his new name would be.

The contest was successful beyond Inkachoo Pinkachoo Sinkachoo Tinkachoo’s wildest dreams. In all, one thousand and one people sent him their ideas for his new name.

Some of them were very bad or silly – some mean people sent in names like Nosepicker or Smellysocks. Some of them were just very strange, and (if were possible) maybe even worse than the name he already had. Those were names that Inkachoo Pinkachoo Sinkachoo Tinkachoo could barely read or even say: Blagarodnew and Kishagreenoldovian and Weegishlynoving. And some of them were just not right – names like Susan or Sarah.

Inkachoo Pinkachoo Sinkachoo Tinkachoo felt quite sure that if those names were the only options, he’d stay with what he had, thank you very much.

But many people sent in good names, names that Inkachoo Pinkachoo Sinkachoo Tinkachoo thought long and and hard about. Names like Bruce and Geoffrey and John and Levi.

Finally, Inkachoo Pinkachoo Sinkachoo Tinkachoo found one that he liked more than all the others. He thought about it for a day and a night, and then announced to his family and the whole world that his new name would be Alexander.

It was good because it was easy to say, could be shorter if he needed it to be, started with the first letter of the alphabet, and … best of all … everyone knew exactly how to spell it.

Alexander lived happily ever after, had many friends and was never lonely again, and now his name actually fit on all the papers that he had to write it on at school.

There was only one problem. Alexander had to spend the whole next year saying thank you one million (and one) times!