Illustration: Rocco Fazzari
You may have detected a burst of high-frequency clacking from the weapons-grade Global Idiocy Geiger Counter last Tuesday, when it was revealed tennis star Maria Sharapova was considering changing her name by deed poll to Sugarpova, in order to promote her confectionery company of that name.
Name changes are, of course, not unknown in the world of celebrity. They are undertaken in order to achieve a variety of ends, many of which seem urgent at the time.
Kirk Douglas, for example, changed his name so he would not have to be called Issur Danielovitch Demsky. Dido adopted her cute moniker in part to defray the crippling fabric ink bill that would otherwise have been incurred by her merchandising manufacturer had it been forced to create tour T-shirts celebrating the work of Florian Cloud de Bounevialle Armstrong. And all that's fair enough.
But you do have to question Sharapova's police work here. A lady who has been keen for some time to avoid the Kournikovesque criticism that she is all sizzle and no sausage could do better - in order to be taken seriously - than to rename herself, even temporarily, after a range of Gummibears.
Want to be taken seriously? Change your name to Serena Williams. Or Rafael Nadalski. That might help. Even those suggestions are - it seems - not as silly as I meant them to be when I typed them.
Farnborough Football Club, a minnow in England's complex soccer ecosystem and a bankrupt minnow at that, has just announced a novel sponsorship arrangement with betting company Paddy Power. Every player has changed his name by deed poll to that of a football immortal, so instead of the usual dispirited line-up, the club now fields a Pele, Zidane, Beckham, Maradona and so on.
Team manager Spencer Day is feeling decidedly more confident - and very probably more handsome - now that the electoral register recognises him as Jose Mourinho.
The deal is worth £100,000 to Farnborough, which seems a good deal for the sponsor when you consider it's 14 years since Geelong charged $100,000 to change ruck rover Garry Hocking's name to Whiskas. Names are important - of course they are.
In politics, possessors of awkward surnames must make a difficult choice - change one's name, and forever be thought shifty; or endure the involuntary snorts of derision that will accompany your every formal introduction at a public event.
Those who have chosen the latter road and succeeded, like British Labour politicians Ed Balls and Alistair Darling (the former chancellor, who in 2010 made gloriously possible The Sun's headline ''Out of recession? Not tonight, Darling''), deserve our thanks and praise. A special mention is also due to the current Alabama State Treasurer, Young Boozer the third, who is 65 and apparently sober. In a helpful guide to this federal election, Brisbane writer Christopher Currie has composed an inventory of candidates' names for the pop culture website Junkee.
He starts, of course, with the ''Suggestive'' category - the Sid Sidebottomses and Dick Adamses and their new community of hopeful wannabe colleagues such as Grant Pforr (Palmer United Party, for Moncrieff) and Chub Witham, a disappointingly angular geologist who hopes to seduce the voters of O'Connor on behalf of the Nationals.
But who knew a category like ''Would Be More Than at Home at Hogwarts'' would contain so many aspiring holders of public office?
Ian and Karen Dobby, a husband-and-wife team contesting Deakin and Indi for the Australian Christians, might find permanent residency at an imaginary wizard-school a handy way out of what must be interminable arguments about where to live.
Kitten Snape, whom Currie credits as ''Member of Palmer United Party and Slytherin House'', is contesting the seat of Jagajaga and cannot entirely be laughed off; as a Kitten embracing a PUP, she pretty much has the internet vote stitched up.
There are even an unusually high number of candidates in Currie's ''Rejected Patents'' category - Warren Truss, Dan Caddy, Clive Mensink, Wayne Driver, Stephanie Banister, Jayson Packett, Warren Entsch, Peter Slipper, George Brazier and Dawn Walker.
And though only one candidate meets the criterion for inclusion in the ''Anagrams of 'Amphibian Jet Lens''' division - Greens candidate for the seat of Fowler, Benjamin Silaphet - the existence of the category is in itself nearly enough to make me move there and vote for him.
As for the odds of a last-minute name change, Sharapova style - anyone who has ever met Kevin Rudd knows instinctively he would rechristen himself Cicciolina Beervoucher if there were a chance that would get him over the line.
Hope springs eternal that the prayed-for ''September Surprise'' of this campaign will be something along these lines. Perhaps both leaders could surrender entirely to the polls and rename themselves ''Malcolm Turnbull'', just in the nick of time.
Annabel Crabb presents the election edition of The Drum nightly at 6pm, ABC News 24. She tweets as @annabelcrabb.