China may have over a billion people, billions of dollars in U.S. currency and bonds, an inexhaustible supply of cheap labor, and a secret clone army of giant basketball players, but there’s one commodity they’re running short on–names:
Current Chinese law states that children are only allowed take the surname from either their mother or father, but the lack of variety means there are now 93 million people in China with the family name Wang… The survey found 92 million people shared the surname Li, while 88 million were called Zhang. A further seven surnames–including Chen, Zhou and Lin–are held by at least 20 million Chinese.
In order to avert an impending catastrophe where no one will be able to tell if they’re accidentally marrying their mother, officials have decided to introduce a new pool of names, and opened the floor for suggestions. Among those proposed:
- Johnson (Get it?!)
The government will announce each citizen’s compulsory name-change in a characteristically gentle fashion: “Your family’s name is now ‘McFly.’ Also, we’re building a dam over your house. Please get back to work. Did we say ‘please’? We meant ‘shut up’.”