Whether you want to admit it or not, watching TV exerts a big influence on the decisions we make.
After all, when did you not start to crave for pasta or ice cream once you saw the lead characters in your favorite TV show do so?
Of course, most of these influences only affect minor things like what we eat or where we want to go for shopping. It’s almost unheard of for a TV show to put someone down the path of a life-altering decision like changing a name.
But one guy did exactly that after he watched an episode of Friends. And it wasn’t a simple thing like adopting the name Ross or something like that. He chose to change his name to Ricky Princess Consuela Banana Hammock Reigns. Yes, you read that right.
The 30-year-old got the inspiration after a “lazy day” with his friends binge-watching on Friends, appropriately enough. After a few beers, Ricky just got enamored of the name-change scene and wanted to do it in real life.
The scene being referred to is from the episode titled “The One With Princess Consuela,” which originally aired on February 26, 2004. The episode sees the eccentric but lovable Phoebe Buffay intending to change her name following her wedding to Mike Hannigan.
When she shows up to complete the necessary paperwork, the man at the desk tells her that she can change her name to “anything you want.” The zany Phoebe takes this statement at face value and ditches her initial choice of “Phoebe Buffay” for one with more character: “Princess Consuela Banana Hammock.”
Ricky explained his decision, saying, “The lazy day turned into a few drinks and a takeaway then a few more drinks and the episode came on where Phoebe changes her name to Princess Consuela Banana Hammock and I had a light-bulb moment (vodka induced).”
While “light-bulb moment” is not exactly how others would describe it, he was all set.
He continued: “My friend Googled ‘change name by deed poll’, so I did what I needed to do and it ended up in a phone call. I asked if it was the same as in America [where] you can change your name to anything you want.”
As luck would have it, the person at the end of the line said yes, “as long as it isn’t offensive,” so the inspired Ricky recalled those fateful words: “So I said ‘Ricky Princess Consuela Banana Hammock Reigns.’”
He continued: “[The guy] just laughed and asked if I was serious. I said yes and the rest is history. It doesn’t bother me that much really, apart from when I have to give my full title. Mainly telephone banking – I just say Ricky Reigns and they always ask for my full title, so I say it under my breath and wait for a giggle every time.
“There’s also a paragraph in my passport basically saying I’m not a real princess and I shouldn’t get any preferential treatment at the airport.”
As to why he added “Reigns” at the end of his name, he said: “I wanted something that rolled off my tongue.” Fair enough.
While his name change may have been alcohol-inspired, there’s also a deeper reason why he pushed through with it.
He explained, “Basically, I didn’t want my dad’s family name. It had been on my mind for a while but I never did anything about it.
“I am gay and my dad hates the fact I am. It was just two fingers to him, basically.”
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