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Nicknames Can be Dangerous

October 30, 2011 - Michael McElwain

I like giving other people nicknames, even if they are only temporary.

Coming up with a snappy nickname for someone is a tough business. I learned this the hard way on more than one occasion.

I was enjoying a nice meal consisting of multiple muffins with a couple of lovely ladies, and it occurred to me that it would be cute to call one of them, “My little muffin tops.”

After being yelled at and slapped, I was informed that “muffin top” is slang for the fat that hangs over a lady’s waistline. So, in essence, I managed to turn an intended complement into an insult, anger and, ultimately, a vicious beating.

I’ve only had one real nickname that stuck through the years. I got it on the third day of going to a new high school in North Carolina. I remember getting on the school bus, and someone pointed out that I resembled the character “Spaz” from the movie “Meatballs.”

Now, I immediately thought this Spaz fellow had to be a dashingly handsome dude full of wit and wisdom, but imagine my surprise when I found out he was a nerd with broken glasses.

The “Spaz” moniker stuck, and some of my North Carolina friends still refer to me as Spaz, and I still respond to it without question or thought.

This finally brings me to my point, my blog friends.

I have decided to take on seasonal nicknames from now on, and I insist that all my family, friends and coworkers refer to me using the temporary name.

For instance, during the winter season, I change my name to “Thundersnow.”

It’s cool.

The first snowfall of the season the other day reminded me that the name change was due.

I like the winter season, and it’s something we never really had in North Carolina. Thundersnow down south just never happens.

As much as I like winter, soon I will be itching to switch to my other seasonal nickname – “Summer Breeze.” Let’s hope that name change comes quickly.

Thundersnow doesn’t want a long winter.


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