Monday, September 19, 2016

Edition #4 of the world's oddest name book is out now......

The back cover probably sums it up...

Have you ever met a Shazza who can't handle herself? Why do we imagine Sky sunbaking in the nude more than Grace?....Why is that?

Like a tiny piece of personalised music, each of us has a name that, like all sounds, evokes some small and subconscious response from those we meet. This collective reaction, over the years of our existence, can gently trickle down and influence who we become.

This book is a must-read for those faced with one of the following scenarios...

1    You've fallen pregnant - or knocked-up your girlfriend - and are trying desperately to arrive at a baby name which won't destroy the child's life. 

2     You work with an idiot and you wonder how they became an idiot.

3      Your parents didn't have access to this book and they mysteriously called you D'Artagnan, L_ah, Flavio, Abcde or Vernon, and you wonder why people seem to treat you differently.

With 1000 more names than the previous edition, and having already been put to good use by thousands of prospective parents, as well as causing hilarity and chaos at countless dinner parties and group gatherings across Australia and abroad, Why Shouldn't I Call My Son Clint? Edition 4, well and truly spills the (comic) beans about what your name says about you.

Good luck!                       

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A few Name Book memories....

from the app
WHY SHOULDN'T I CALL MY SON CLINT? is now close to selling out. At some point a fourth edition will arrive but for the time being edition 3.0 is it. The smartphone app will always be available (WHO ARE YOU - apple. NAME GURU - android, and the app sports a romantic compatibility function, which is even more judgemental than the book.) As we speak, in late July, there are around 200 hardcopies left, and the whole thing has sold around 11,000. Crazy shit eh, and all from a private joke in Mery's kitchen in Cottesloe, Perth, 12 or 13 years ago.

As many of you know I've been selling the book at the Eumundi markets for the past five years, which means, given the number of people I've spoken with, and like all my market colleagues, I could probably get a job as some kind of counsellor, but that's another story.

My books are running out, and in a few months that will be it for me and the book at the markets, so I just thought I'd reminisce about some of the more memorable interactions that have happened over the years. They're in no particular order.....

- I never wrote the book as a baby name book and until the first edition arrived in my lap I never even considered it, but I vividly recall the first time, at my market stall, when a baby was thrust in my face by a beaming parent who said something along the lines of, "G'day Hock. This is 'so-and-so', and you named him!" Freaks me out.

- Probably a dozen times, over the years, a person or a couple has arrived at my stall and read a name on the wall which accurately described their son/daughter (usually a son) who was no longer with us. I never get used to this but they're moments I cherish. Bringing up painful memories was never my intention, but this is life, and remembering those who we love is an important part of being human. In that regard, even if my descriptions have been absurd, the humour with the whole thing is what is conveyed. I've hugged many visitors to my stall in this instance. Bloody bizarre situation when I think about it. But what it does bring home to me, after all these thousands of conversations from people all over the planet is that, as corny as it sounds, the whole thing, as in, this entire life, is about fun and love and encouraging people in both

- Something else I've tried to do, and I'm crap at it, is learn some sign language. This group turned up only a few months ago. They're all totally deaf, and it was a refreshing and odd phenomenon to have so many people in my stall, all completely excited and pissing themselves, but they were totally silent. Just lots of signing. I just stood there and watched, endeavouring to answer an questions I could with very well-mouthed words. The whole thing was a crack up.

-As most people get to hear who arrive at my stall, the best use of the book occurred years ago. A Kiwi couple arrived at my stall, maybe 3 years ago now, bought a book (the first edition), went back to NZ and got married. They had the genius idea of using the book to print up a personalised place mat for all their wedding guests at the reception. I was told the story a few months after the event by a couple who were in attendance. They told me that the immediate result of this was to break the whole thing down and make everyone relaxed and happy, in about 2 minutes. I don't know how the marrying couple did it, as it would have taken ages.
So, if your'e reading this and you have the book, as well as an upcoming wedding, you have my full permission. This has happened at dinner parties and birthday parties, but the wedding is a stroke of brilliance.

-I was asked recently if I've ever offended anyone. I'd say that generally, no, but there have been a few moments that come close I suppose.
With the book about to sell out, I'll come clean. I once wrapped a copy in plastic and hoiked it over the fence of the then Prime Minister's house, Kevin Rudd. It was Australia day, around 2011. I actually waited out the front of the house afterwards waiting for the secret service to show up, which they never did. I don't know what Kevin may have made of his name theory (Kevin is an enthusiastic dunce, and the name of any tourist who pulls his shorts up around his armpits and tucks his socks into his sandals.)
But my website WAS searched the Australian Government. No foul called and thank you Kevin for not arresting me. On the inside cover I believe I signed his book, "Dear Kevin, On this Australia, I'd like to welcome you to the Real Australia."

Another time, back at the markets, a young army veteran arrived. His name was Clint, and he seemed deeply concerned about his name theory, which, lets face it, isn't perfect. (Clint the word is across between two other words involving the female form. (Resultant from the Church, I reckon, who basically hate/fear women, but that's another story.) Anyway, I explained to Clint that the whole thing was an absurd comedy for gatherings of the crew, and he seemed to relax. We chatted briefly about his time in Afghanistan and Iraq, until it occurred to me I was dealing with a very disturbed and troubled young man. I put a hand on his shoulder and handed him one of the demo books, telling him that I wanted him to have it. It's the only book I've ever given away on market day and his reaction was startling. He immediately started to tear up and we shook hands. I'll never forget that.

-One of the most memorable events happened a couple of years ago. Without exaggeration I reckon I've spoken to  around 35,000 people at length about life and everything, but one couple I'll never forget. They were about 60 years old, lived out in western NSW somewhere and it was evident to me that (a) they'd been married for an awfully long time, that (b) they'd spent so long in each other's company that surprise, romance and titillation had long since died and (c) the husband wasn't at all delighted to be at the markets.
After taking a few moments to tell them what I and my stall was about, the husband picked up a demo and flicked through pages to get to his name. Both of them were overweight and not looking all that healthy, really, and because it was reasonably early in the morning, they were the only people in my stall. Well, the husband, whose name I wish I remembered,  read his name and his eyes grew wide, and then he started laughing. And he didn't do it quietly. He burst into these loud, whooping guffaws, bending forward at the waist. Now, that was great, but it was the reaction of his wife which got me the most. While he was bent over, fucking pissing himself loudly, his wife was staring at him, with Her eyes agog, at seeing this man laugh.
In amazement, she looked at me, looked back to her husband, who by this stage was holding out the book for her to read. He was red in the face and in disbelief.
My impression was that she hadn't seen her husband laugh like that for a bloody long time. Years and years, I'd say. It was a beautiful thing, and she pissed herself at his name theory as well. They bought a book, and they were one of the reasons I started recording where people were from, and any weird discussion points we shared.

-Indeed, those stories are the tip of the iceberg. Every market day is a unique adventure.

My favourite name? Probably this guy.....

Anyway, that's about it. My next book is a sequel to Tommy-the-shark. And more on that soon.

Have a cracking day and thanks again all those who have read, bought, enjoyed, loathed and rejoiced in this most bizarre of ventures. I can't thank you all enough.

love Hock

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

"WHY SHOULDN'T I CALL MY SON CLINT?" a best-seller in OZ!

Hock here - David Hocking - and now that "Clint" the book has surpassed 10,000 copies (by how much I'm not exactly sure, maybe 10,500??) I thought it fitting to relate the story so far. Many of you who read this will have the book already, and will also have heard a few of these stories. Some of you might be personally involved. If you are, hello especially!

To be honest, I never wrote WHY SHOULDN'T I CALL MY SON CLINT? as a baby name book. Indeed, I didn't think of how it might be used at all. I just knew my theories were both accurate and funny, and that no one else on the planet had ever produced such a book.

In essence, "Clint" is a name dictionary which now consists of around 4500 names and for each name I have philosophically, comically and usually, quite accurately, attempted to describe the personality of that individual. Yes, I know, it's probably the most judgmental thing ever written, but what the hell. You're only here once and in the end, I firmly believe each of us is basically identical. But more of that in a tic.

Editions 1 and 2 have long sold out. Most names in the book are Western, but very early on I realised any and every name was fair game. Didn't matter to me if you were from Sri Lanka, Norway, New York City or Bondi Beach - if you had a name and I could spell it, I could write a name theory for you, which is what I call these. Nicknames are part of it as well.

How I arrive at these personality descriptions hasn't altered from how the whole thing began, and I'm true to the process. This is how it started.

In 2003 I went and had coffee at Mary's house, around the corner from where I lived in Cottesloe, Perth. Just a mate. And we had coffee most days. Anyway, one day I went around and she was all excited. I asked her what was going on and with a look of pure joy on her face, she said, "Dave, what would you think if I had a boyfriend called Murray?"

Now Mery (Croatian spelling) was single and on the lookout. As a short powerful lass, she has a shock of thick black hair and she drills her energy into everything she is into. I love her and I miss her, actually. Anyway, on hearing the question I immediately summed up what was going on and then in a moment of pure clarity, I closed my eyes and began repeating the name aloud, almost to myself.... "Murray, Murray Murray, Murray....."
In that moment a strange thing happened. My brain, using memories and stories and rumours from its entire existence (and I will say that I have a damn good memory, thanks to my Grandmother), and just listening to the rural kind of sound of his name, produced a vision in my mind that I'll never forget.

I immediately pictured myself standing upright holding a bucket of mud, whence I then drop the bucket, at which point all the mud slops up and hits me in the face and I stand there. This phenomenon I described to Mary as, the Murray Phenomenon. I added that he is tolerated in the country but city folk just don't get him.

Well Mery looked at me with the biggest grin, pointed her finger at me and said, "Dave, that's exactly what he's like!"

And so a small joke between good friends began. Mery and Murray never worked, and after meeting prospective fellows, for something fun to do, she'd ask me for my Name Theory on their personality. Beginner's Luck exists in the universe, I believe, even though it turns out my theories seem to be pretty good most of the time, and the whole process is a comedy, trust me, but my descriptions of these blokes were not only weird and funny and largely absurd, but they were exactly on the jam.

And after about a year or two of this, I realised there was more going on here than I thought, at which point I decided to put my theories into a book. The things that have happened since would blow your mind. One quick one - the first stranger to read his name theory in the book was at a pub in Fremantle. His name was Cameron.
(The Cameron name theory, which, while not that wonderful I suppose, intimately involves blokes called Billy and Clint. The fact that a Clint was involved from Day 1 is weird enough.)
And this bloke Cameron was best mates and shared a house with, you guessed it, Billy and Clint.
It's was too weird for it to be a coincidence and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Anyway, that was a long time ago. And what I anticipated as funny thing to pull out at dinner parties has gone nuts slightly. It has long sold out of bookshops, and pregnant people love it as a baby name book. No, not all the descriptions are necessarily amazing (otherwise it would be a pretty boring book) and some are downright confronting but it resonates, it's funny, and if I can single-handedly stop people from putting pointless apostrophes near Australian names, then good!

For a few years now I've sold the book at the Eumundi Markets, near Noosa where I live, and the stories that have come back to me are just amazing, let alone that have come back to me a year or two or three later, telling me how much fun they had with the book, and how much it helped them name their children. I haven't even got kids, but there is something weird about this book. As I tell people often, yes, your name helps to mould you based on how it sounds to others, and how the world reacts to that sound, but deep down I believe we are all identical.
Humans want three things.
To give love.
To receive love.
And to have fun.

I believe this book does all three, no matter what my name theories say.

My favourite story? A couple of years ago a Kiwi couple came past my stall at the markets and got the book - first edition, only 2000 names - anyway, they went back to NZ and got married and they took the time at their own wedding, and it would have taken them bloody ages, to print out every wedding guest's name as a place mat for reception. As an icebreaker, I'm told no one has seen anything more spectacular, and it resulted in an amazing day.

The world is such a bizarre place, and so is this book. If you get it I hope it helps.

Your humble sevant

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Driven making waves in the West...

Humanity, honesty the hooks for sex-work tale.

From 'Today' lift-out section of the West Australian newspaper, June 3, 2014.



The eBook is alive for ever but only 30 hardcopies of 'Driven To Sex' are left. One fellow in Warnbro, in Perth, just bought two; one for himself and one for his girlfriend. And no, I don't know him!

$37 includes postage to anywhere in Australia/New Zealand.

Any queries, email me at






Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A review for Driven To Sex...

Sure, Tina is a mate from way back, so she's biased just a little.
But her take on things is always different and I love her for that.

This is her take on my latest offering.....

Just finished reading my gorgeous friend's new book. It's a rollicking urban tale set in the most isolated city in the world. Perth's title of 'dullsville' would be sent well on its way if the adventures of Paddo and his new companions are ...anything to go by. I felt like I was right with him on his quest to find love, to make decent memories, to drive the best suburban chicanes, and get the best view of the city lights all without getting shot, stabbed or whacked along the way. How Stevie Wonder and Shirley Bassey get a mention is for me to know and you to find out. Do yourself a favour!
Thanks Teen xoxo

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The article that began it all for Driven To Sex

Mid 2005 at 2 or 3 or 4 in the morning, I was sitting in my car adjacent to Langley Park near the Perth CBD, awaiting a girl who was in a booking in the Hyatt hotel.
I wrote this in one take in about 11 minutes. I was too tired to think about it too much. I sent it in to the 'This Life' section of the Weekend Australian the next day. My original title was This Driving Life, which they altered, which was fine by me.
Anyway, I suspect the genesis of the novel, Driven To Sex, was planted in those minutes. This is the article as it appeared in the Review section of the Weekend Australian, Sep 24-25, 2005.

AFL Grandfinal day, as it happened.

I hope you enjoy it.

Driven To Sex is available as an eBook (and hardcopy for Australia & NZ only, at this stage).


Monday, May 5, 2014

Driven To Sex - the launch! Perth, Western Australia

The eBook is already out but there's not long to go for the only hardcopies left in existence!.......