Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
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from Echo Park

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WSJ gets creative with Maria's name

Chicken Corner is in Washington, DC, this week, sleeping late, enjoying the less-humid-than-expected atmosphere. Early this afternoon, I poured a cup of coffee and took a little stroll through the paper edition of the Wall Street Journal, and who would I find there? Why, Maria of course! The goose -- two days after his welcoming ceremony at the L.A. Zoo. (The markets are expected to rise upon news that Maria is sharing quarters with Odie the donkey.)

Except the WSJ has renamed Maria. They're calling him "Mario", because he turned out to be a boy.

What? So do they refer to the poet as Rainer Mario Rilke? Will they change your name if it doesn't fit the conventional gender paradigms? Or is it only geese for whom this editorial action applies?

It's possible the WSJ is referring to an outdated stylebook in calling Maria Mario. In the days after Maria was discovered to be a boy, many suggested clipping the little serif at the end of his letter "a," turning it into a masculine "o." But, after much local discussion, the operation was deemed unnecessary. In Echo Park, Maria survived his gender switch without surgery to his name or identity. Dominic Ehrler continues to call him Maria, as does Chicken Corner and the Eastsider. Echo Park calls him Maria. Likewise, he's still a goose, in the broader sense of the word (no pun intended)!

The good news is Maria doesn't really care. He's mainly interested in seeing his pal Dominic and keeping Odie on his toes, er, hooves.

More by Jenny Burman:
Up close at Caine's Arcade
LAAS New Hope connection on block
More breaking news
Bear in tree
Polly want a better cage
Recent Fauna stories on LA Observed:
Mountain lion killed in Sunland by state warden
Polly want a better cage
Towhee in the henhouse
The Mario files*
Hey, take a gander at this: geese in traffic on the 110 *
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