An Australian journalist who decided to jokingly call her son ‘Methamphetamine Rules’ has come under fire for the ‘stunt’.
ABC presenter Kirsten Drysdale, 38, was researching for her programme, WTFAQ, when she decided to see if a totally out-there name choice would be approved after viewers had asked how far they could push the boundaries when naming their children.
While offensive terms are prohibited by the New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, the name she submitted somehow got through and she was soon faced with the task of having to backtrack and get her son’s actual name legally recognised.
However, after sharing the story with the world, Kirsten has been forced to defend herself.
On Tuesday night, she appeared on A Current Affair, where host Allison Langdon didn’t seem to see the funny side and took a hard-line approach to her questioning.
Taking aim, Alison asked: ‘Did the epidural block the brain? Why would you do this to your baby boy?’
Seemingly taken aback by the serious tone of the conversation, Kirsten tried to lighten the mood and replied: ‘I did this in the name of journalism, Ally.’
However, Alison continued: ‘I know that when you fill in a passport form you have to answer if you’ve gone by another name, so baby Meth won’t have to tick “yes” to that?’
‘No, he won’t, because that’s if you do a change of name. This is a different thing, it’s a “correction”, so there’s no endorsements on the bottom of the birth certificate that way,’ Kirsten explained.
After being asked if she took the ‘stunt too far’, Kirsten pushed back.
‘No. I would hope that there are no parents out there who would seriously call their child a name like that,’ she said.
‘But if they are calling their child a questionable name, I think we’ve shown that there needs to be some better checks on it.’
Acknowledging that some people would find what unfolded ‘hilarious’, Alison suggested others would be ‘appalled’.
However, Kirsten said there was ‘no lasting harm done’ and that they had ‘checked what the risks were’ before submitting the initial form.
Explaining the decision to call her child a Class-A drug, Kirsten said earlier this week she and her production team had been convinced the name would be rejected.
It also came after she’d decided against writing down ‘Nangs Rule’ – a slang term for nitrous oxide canisters, or ‘laughing gas’, which is often used as a party drug, fearing that registry staff might be unaware of the term and approve the name.
‘We thought, what is the most outrageous name we can think of that will definitely not be accepted?’ she said.
‘Methamphetamine Rules we thought would surely get rejected, and then when it does, we can find out what name the Registrar chooses.’
While she said it was a ‘light-hearted, curious attempt to get an answer’ to the question of what names could be approved, she was shocked when her submission ‘slipped through’.
After the fact, the Registrar admitted it was a rare oversight, and the government department said it had ‘strengthened’ its system to avoid something like this ‘highly unusual event’ happening in the future.
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