When a group of guys give you a nickname, you know you belong - you've been accepted into their tribe. Which is why when I was at college I asked the other blokes in G Block to give me one. Most people either waited to have one bestowed upon them or (mostly) hope to make it through without one. But not me.
"Nah, I want a nickname. They're so cool. Give me one," I begged. "I've been here three months already. Come on."
"Sure," they said. And they put up a blank sheet on the notice board calling for suggestions.
I love nicknames. I've always wanted a really cool one, but I haven't quite managed to pull it off yet.
I haven't managed to convince anyone to call me Jazz or Champion or Captain. These are, in fact, my dogs' names. You see, I'm really good at giving cool names to others.
For example, we have a girl at work who is named Tahleea or something. I can never remember how to say or spell it and I'm way too lazy to take the time to learn it so I started calling her Miss T - hence Misty. A great nickname! And if she ever decides to take up hanging out at street corners I'm sure she'll use it. When another friend named her daughter Amity, I cooed and ahhed at her little Calamity, immediately wishing I'd called one of my own kids by this great name because I loved this nickname so much.
My oldest was christened Geoffrey, but he's Gooffrey to me. Likewise, my Mishaela with forever be the best Mishtake I've ever made.
It's not that I haven't had nicknames, I have. But they've been lame. At school there was Thredbo, Ski-jump (neither because of my snow skiing prowess, but rather because of my mountain like nose), Devo, Ace and Maverick.
And yes, those last two I might have made up just now.
Of course, it could have been worse. I went to an all boy boarding school so the kids had heaps of time to commit to thinking something up. Plus, you all shower in the same bathrooms so they get to see you naked. Lots of guys nicknames at school were a direct result of this.
I remember a couple of guys at school were called Donkey and Captain Hook because of one or another feature of their favourite appendages - in these cases size and leaning. Then there was Pencil, Wart and Thimble.
At college, I recall there was a bloke whose nickname was Pink. When I asked why, I was told his older brother was nicknamed Black when he went through the college, again because of a size consideration, but when this young man was stripped and tied to a pole outside one of the women's colleges, as was the norm twenty five years ago, everyone decided, compared to his brother, he didn't actually have a willy. So Pink.
Boys can be so cruel.
As I learned when the vote came in and, by a landslide, by fellow G Blockers decided to call me Scrotum.
Fortunately, after a few months, many decided two syllables was cutting into their drinking time so it was shortened. I say 'fortunately' because Scrote leaves me with some of my dignity intact, right?
No, I didn't think so either. But at least I felt accepted by my tribe :)
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