Posted by: dodgrblu | July 14, 2010

The Nickname of the Rose

It’s been pointed out to me that my last post didn’t mention Scarlett’s nickname. I recognized that, but felt the entry was too long already, so I decided to make her nickname the subject of a separate post. And since there’s no baseball today (sob), rather than bore you with the details of my All-Star ballot, which players I voted for 100 times, and why, I might as well tell you about Scarlett’s nickname.

While we were going through the whole baby naming process, Scott and I talked a lot about nicknames. During Scott’s reconsideration of the name, “Scarlett,” he fretted a lot about what kind of nickname could come out of that name. He favored “Cari”— with the first syllable pronounced “car” as in vehicle (and most certainly not pronounced “Carrie” like the telekinetic girl in Stephen King’s novel of the same name). He hated “Scar,” but I suspected even then I’d call her that from time to time. Ultimately, “Cari” showed no sign of sticking, and since no obvious nickname was presenting itself, we figured we could just call her Scarlett.

I mentioned in a previous post that Disney Channel runs the cartoon “Phineas and Ferb” (P&F) a lot. Right after Scarlett was born, it seemed like every time we sat down to feed her or get her to sleep, P&F was on television. Being thoroughly sleep deprived and in a supposed “Percocet stupor,” I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention.

Then, one day, Scott started calling Scarlett, “Doofenshmirtz.”

Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz

Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz is a villainous mad scientist, who has appeared in (I believe) all but one episode of  P&F. He is the head of “Doofenshmirtz Evil, Incorporated” and invents bizarre contraption with a goal of becoming the overlord of the entire “Tri-State Area.”

I’ll let that sink in. Yeah, that’s right: our adorable baby girl is named after a villainous and evil mad scientist. That was pretty much my reaction when Scott started calling her “Doofenshmirtz.”

But P&F is a children’s cartoon, and Doofenshmirtz, despite his best efforts, never manages to actually do anything evil. His bizarre evil schemes and his peculiar inventions inevitably fail spectacularly. He’s not even really a doctor: it is mentioned in passing that he purchased his doctorate, and with his ex-wife’s money at that. (Yes, he has an ex-wife–and a teenage daughter.) Doofenshmirtz is bumbling, incompetent, and very, very goofy. And in this way, he is totally loveable. (That’s a poor choice of words though, as Doofenshmirtz’s failed love life is a recurring gag in the show.)

Our Doofenshmirtz

Improbably, the nickname “Doofenshmirtz” or simply “Shmirtz” has stuck for Scarlett. And now nearly everyone calls her that. (I also call her “Shmirtzy Schmirtzerson,” which Shea has picked up. Hearing Shea say, “Shmirtzy Schmirtzerson,” is a hoot.) Scarlett recognizes her name when we call her “Scarlett.” But she also responds when we call her “Shmirtz.” (We tried for a while calling Shea, “Doofenschmidt,” but that hasn’t really stuck.)

So, that’s how Scarlett came to be called “Shmirtz.” Of course, this is all well and good for now, when she’s an infant and doesn’t care what we call her as long as we feed her and change her diaper regularly. But if P&F is still on in a few years when she goes to school, Shmirtz is going to hate us.

I’ll be sure to point out it’s her Daddy’s fault.



  1. P&F is Richard’s favorite cartoon. Alan built 3 Perry the Platypus inaction figures. One is on my desk at work.

    Did you see the episode where Doofenshmirtz gets a new nemesis? A panda from Seattle? It’s a hoot.

    • Cool! I bought a Transforming Perry the Platypus stuffed toy from Disney Store: he’s Perry the pet, then turn him inside out and he’s Agent P. And yeah, I did see the one with the panda. Glad to hear from you!

  2. P&F is also on air in Germany, where I come from and live. And, yess, that is the truth, my son Lars-Christian (born August 12th 2009) is also nicknamed little doc doofenshmirtz or simply shmirtz since his birth!

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