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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Nick My Name

If you knew my name, you'd make up nicknames for me, and I'd like that.

Some of you already do, and already have. And I like that, too.

Nicknames are a way that other people let you know that you're accepted, that you're one of them, that, at the very least, they give enough of a shit about you to bother coming up with a nickname for you in the first place. Because, let's face it, coming up with the precise nickname for a person is rather an art form.

Just ask that black dude from "Huckleberry Finn."

In middle school, I wanted a nickname badly. I never got one, at least, I never got one that people shared with me. Sometimes you get what you want-- but, most of the time: you don't. Yes, that is my outlook on life. Want cheer and fluff? Go read some fucking pink-assed mommy blog.

I thought that coming up with a nickname for me, (you know, besides, "Jew"), would be easy because of my impossibly skinny stature.

"Maybe they'll call me 'Beanpole,'" I fantasized, "or 'Broomstick' or 'Stretch.'" In high school, if you can believe it, I wore jeans, pretty much every day. "They'll call me 'Jeans,'" I decided.

They did not.

I did not receive a nickname, in fact, until I became an EMT. True to form, when I pined for something, I didn't get it. Once I got it, I didn't want it. My nickname came from my 300 pound paramedic partner, who spewed such terms as "Sand Nigger," "Jit-bag," and "Cumstain" when talking about Middle Easterners, our supervisor, and his girlfriend's husband, respectively.

He used to call me "H.P." which was a less-than-affectionate nod to my physical resemblance to the world's most famous bespectacled wizard. Once, when it came time to lift a rather portly patient who was strapped to our stretcher, my partner looked up at me as we were crouched at the head and foot of the stretcher and said, "You ready for this, H.P.? Got your wand?" The patient cracked up. I was not amused.

I suppose if I had become a mobster or a rap singer, or, um, a professional football player, or a soldier, or basically any other career for which I am utterly unsuited and unsuitable, I would have received a nickname.

As it is, I am none of those things, and never will be. And so I suppose I am going to have to let the nickname be another unrequited dream of mine, that I'll put up there on the shelf with policing and becoming a professional writer, watching Indian girls shower each other, and participating in Wing Bowl.

And that's okay. Because you can always call me, "Apron."


  1. Hey, I love Harry Potter.

    And my nickname in school flucuated between "Barbie" and "Cousin It". Go figure.

  2. I also never got a nickname. Sucks, doesn't it?


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