a special name indeed


What gets written on the form:


How was your name chosen?

“My mom and dad saw a movie with a girl named Zoe in it.”

Why is this name perfect for you?

“It is a fun name.”


How it really happened:

How was your name chosen?

“Mom was pregnant, and she and Dad were running out of time. See, the names for the other two were easy – family names. But by the time they got to me, the third kid, they’d exhausted all of the meaningful names and just had to run with whatever they didn’t hate, taking care to avoid any unfortunate alliteration (Theresa Torres) or rhyming (Lourdes Torres).

[Coincidentally, someone names Lourdes Torres is behind on her Team BeachBody payments. I know this because I get all of her emails. See? Lourdes Torres doesn’t pay her bills OR even know her own email address. I can’t burden my baby with that stigma.]

After bedtime, Mom and Dad popped in Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof, an old, feel-good flick about a scar-faced former stuntman, Mike, who stalks women and uses his “death proof” car to carry out his murderous plans. It’s a very uplifting film that was shot partly in Austin, so those of us who live here can call shenanigans when we notice the characters have been driving “continuously” across the Congress Avenue bridge – a quarter mile at best – for over 10 minutes while having one of those classic, never-ending Tarantino conversations.


In the second half of the film, Stuntman Mike follows four women, including professional stuntwoman Zoe Bell. He attempts to kill them by ramming their car while Zoe’s performing ridiculously reckless stunts with a 1971 Dodge Challenger, and they turn the tables on him and beat his ass.

And Mom said, “Huh. Zoe. I kinda like that name.”

And by the end of the violent beating scene, it was decided.

So I wouldn’t say I was exactly named after this lady in a movie called Death Proof, but had Mom and Dad never watched it, I’d probably be named Harvest or Ricochet, or maybe even Corn Dog, if we’re going off of my mom’s pregnancy cravings.

Why is this name perfect for you?

“I’m not saying I’d do anything like this, but I’m not exactly saying I wouldn’t.”

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