The trouble with nicknames is that you usually don’t get to pick out your own. Take me for instance. I would be willing to bet that 98.723 percent of people born with the last name “Wallace” have been called “Wally” at least once in their lives. It’s not a flashy nickname, but I like it.
Nicknames are most often thrust upon a person, whether they like it or not. Trust me, if you ever meet a guy nicknamed “Stinky,” you can most certainly expect that he didn’t select it. But there is probably an amusing little anecdote as to how that nickname came to fruition.
The other day, some people in the office were discussing professional-wrestling nicknames. Professional wrestlers are the exceptions to the nicknaming rule. They get to actually pick out their own nicknames. Growing up, I remember wrestlers with cool names like George “The Animal” Steele, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, Jesse “The Body” Ventura, “King Kong” Bundy and “Mad Dog” Vachon. There was also “Hulk” Hogan, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, “Jumpin” Jim Brunzell, Randy “Macho Man” Savage, Larry “The Axe” Hennig and Billy “Superstar” Graham. The list goes on and on.
Wouldn’t it be great if all professions issued nicknames to their employees? In my opinion, the workplace would become much more interesting. To give you an example of what I mean, here are some nickname possibilities that I’ve come up with looking around the editorial department at the Bureau County Republican:
Kevin “Hollywood” Hieronymus — Kevin already has this nickname. He got it after a former BCR employee saw him on television. He was on the field following a St. Louis Cardinal playoff game.
Goldie “The Kid” Currie — Goldie is the newest and youngest member to the editorial staff. If you look at her in the presence of all of us other crusty old newspaper veterans, you’d swear she’s probably only 12 years old ... 13 tops.
Barb “At The Movies” Kromphardt — If you need to know anything about any movie ever made, no matter how trivial, Barb is the go-to lady.
Donna “The Sweet-faced Troublemaker” Barker — As nice of a lady as she seems to be, Donna is involved in possibly more harmless pranks than anyone else I know.
Terri “The Putter” Simon — The BCR editor has been known to have golf ball putting contests down the aisle between the cubicles of the editorial department. I know this because my cubicle is where you tee-off from.
Rita “Twelve Fingers” Roberts — She types really, really fast. Using all of her fingers. Without looking at the keyboard. Accurately. (I believe that some kind of black magic is involved.)
Terry “The Stapler” Himes — I don’t have a stapler, and I always borrow his. Sometimes Terry runs out of staples. During those times I call him Terry “Paperclip” Himes.
Just think of all the merchandising opportunities that we’re missing out on. We could all have T-shirts made. We could have bobble-head day where every 10th lucky subscriber that comes through our doors is awarded a bobble-head of their favorite editorial department personnel. Who in their right minds would not want a Donna “The Sweet-faced Troublemaker” bobble-head sitting on their fireplace mantle? The possibilities are endless.
Well, it looks like I had better wrap this column up. Lyle “The Sleek White Panther” Ganther wants to send this page to press.
You can contact Wallace at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow him on his blog at http://gregwallaceink.blogspot.com.