Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

New Mint Balls Please. Miss *****Pova to Serve from the Pick 'N Mix Counter

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

New Mint Balls Please. Miss *****Pova to Serve from the Pick 'N Mix Counter

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Jones

YEARS ago in Yorkshire a bloke called Michael Howerd changed his name by deed poll. He'd had a run-in with his bank, who charged him a [pounds sterling]20 fee on a [pounds sterling]10 overdraft he held with their branch in Horsforth, near Leeds.

It was one of life's petty injustices, and most of us would have reacted with a sigh, a shrug and maybe a moan down the boozer. But not Howerd. He changed his name legally to Yorkshire Bank Plc Are Fascist B******s. Every time the bank wrote him a letter or cut him a cheque, this was what they had to call him.

God knows how much it cost. More than the fine was worth, I'm sure. But that's not the point. Michael Howerd, or rather, Yorkshire Bank Plc Are Fascist B******s, had used the most basic fact of his identity to stick it to the The Man. Michael Howerd had won.

This week, the world's richest female sportswoman, Maria Sharapova, announced that she, too, was considering changing her name. Reports from America said she had lawyers petitioning a Florida court to effect a temporary ruling, so that when she played in the US Open she would legally be known as Sugar T**s. Thus, at Flushing Meadows, we would have heard such amusing umpire calls as 'Miss Sugar T**s to serve' and 'Advantage Miss Sugar T**s' and 'Miss Sugar T**s is challenging the call'. It was all set to be hysterical.

But alas! Last night Sharapova pulled out of the US Open, citing a shoulder injury. Poor Sugar T**s! Poor Sugar Shoulder! But actually, it doesn't matter, because Sharapova has done very nicely out of the tournament without hitting a ball. The whole name-change palaver, you see, has helped her to publicise her line of sweets. And yes, of course, they are not called Sugar T**s. They are called [REDACTED].

[REDACTED] come in many flavours, including Chic, Quirky, Silly, Spooky Sour, Sporty Pink and I'm Basically A Principle-Free Corporate Huck-bag Whose Presence Demeans Any Major Sporting Tournament In Which I Participate.

(That last one used to be called 'Cheeky', but it changed its name by deed poll.) You're probably munching on one now. …

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