Your RDA of Irony

For Whom the Mol Ptolls


Actress Gretchen Mol and her husband, director Tod Williams, are parents of a baby boy. Ptolemy John Williams was born on September 10, according to the actress’ spokesperson.

Mol, 34, who starred in 2005’s ‘The Notorious Betty Page,’ has recently moved back to New York from Los Angeles. She said back in July (07), “I wanted to have a New York baby.”

Of course, everyone in New York wanted to know, “Is the kid named for Ptolemy the General or Ptolemy the Astronomer?” Sam Feinblatt of Brooklyn agreed with Ms. Mol’s presumed preference for Macedonian commanders. “Ptolemy–good choice. Perdiccas and Antigonus were just hollow breastplates. Seleucus was all right, but these days you don’t say anything good about a ruler of Syria.”

But Tony Gustacelli of Queens hoped that Ms. Mol was an astronomy groupie. “Hey, Ptolemy may have wrong about his geocentric calculations, but his theory had style. It made an impression. Eratosthenes correctly calculated the earth’s circumference but who wants to name a kid for him?”

Fairfax Whitsheath (Exeter, Dartmouth, Harvard Business School, Manhattan, Hamptons) questioned the wisdom of Ptolemy in either case. “It’s a little too ethnic for good taste. If you must name a child for a military megalomaniac, MacArthur won’t keep you off any A-list. As for geocentric astronomers, at least Tycho Brahe was our type.”

Teenager Jamal Jones of Harlem expressed a general sentiment of his generation, “Hipparchus was a better astronomer and is a much cooler name.”

  1. SwanShadow says:

    Lest we forget, Ptolemy’s Optics survives in a translation by Eugenius of Palermo, which would have been a fine name in its own right.

  2. Peggles says:

    I saw a woman on a game show (WOF?) who had named her son Osiris. But Ptolemy certainly beats that one. What will his nickname be? Tollie? P-tol?

    If he’s wise, he’ll use Johnny!

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