"President Sarah Palin" is "our greatest fear." No, I didn’t say that. Danny Elfman — composer for Tim Burton films and the original "The Simpsons" theme song — is saying that in a new ad he produced for the teevee.
But this brings up an opportunity for me to reveal the most common question I hear from readers: "Are you related to Danny Elfman?" The answer is, I don’t know, but maybe. I never wanted to ask him about our common backgrounds, because i didn’t want him to think I was lookng for a way to ask him for money. ‘Cause he’s rich, and that’s what people ask rich relatives, sometimes.
But I interviewed Elfman a while back, and we found out that our American heritage is almost identical. That is, his great-grandparents or his great-great-grandparents moved to America when my ancestors did. They came from the same or nearby places, and settled in the same or nearby cities. So, since Elfman is indeed a unique name, it stands to reason we’re cousins or something. But I would never claim that based on one conversation, not unless Danny wants to give me some money.
Then there’s Jenna Elfman. She married into the name by getting married to Bodhi Elfman, who is Danny’s nephew.
So as I’ve speculated at times, I’m the third most-famous Elfman in the world. Which would be like saying I’m the third-best muffin eater in a contest of three.
Oh, one other thing, since we’re on a completely silly topic: Elves aren’t necessarily short. Danny is tall. I’m 5-feet-10, the average American male height. My dad is a few inches shorter. But Dad’s brother is tall.
But the larger point is that elves used to be exclusively considered tall in mythology, like in the "Lord of the Rings" films. Elves had pointy ears, like Spock, but they shot upward and trended slender. Then some marketing guy for Coke or whatever came up with the idea of making Santa’s elves look like little dudes and ladies. That’s fine and all, there’s nothing wrong with being short, obviously, but I’m just sayin’. Also, I have my Nana’s non-pointy ears.