Monday, September 25, 2006


As long-time blog monkeys know, my decision to only refer to people by nicknames has been a source of much consternation, as my lackluster naming abilities have collided with constant prodding from The Nickless Ones who feel slighted because they have not yet been bestowed the (dubious) honor of a blog monkey nickname. And as those who’ve known me for a long time can attest, constant prodding is not the best way to get me to do anything. But, that doesn’t seem to stop people from putting their prodding skills to the test. This has been most true of The Singles, since (a) they’ve been the most active group of blog monkeys and (b) most of them haven’t come pre-equipped with ready made nicks.

There was one Single in particular who was always after me to assign her a nickname. Now, I can understand this urge; if one of my friends was coming up with nicknames for everyone else but me, I’d probably be in full-on neurotic mode. Where my frustration came in was when every nickname I proffered was shot down nearly instantaneously. Now, I’m not saying they were all winners, mind you; I know there were some stinkers in the bunch. But, I was doing my best, a fact that the Single (who I was threatening to start calling Pushy McPusherson) refused to accept. “You’re not even trying!” she’d accuse me repeatedly, much to my consternation.

It all came to a head on Magic Pants’ last post-church lunch in Denton before deserting us for Waco, a lunch which also marked the first visit of a recent addition to the class. As a new addition, he was introduced to the concept of CoIM and its nicknames by the others, which prompted Pushy McP. to once again bemoan her nickless state. I exasperatedly reiterated that I had tried my best, and she countered that none of them were any good. I posited that none of the nicknames I’ve come up with for anyone were really any good, and her response to this finally hit at the core of her complaint which she’d never vocalized before --- that at least those other nicknames had some sort of story behind them, and weren’t just randomly pulled out of thin air. I protested that I had tried a story-driven nick and she had refused it.

“What nickname?” she asked.

“The squiggly one,” I replied.

Let’s take a quick jump back in time a few months to the day of the annual Singles softball game and cookout. Afterwards a small group of us went to the Denton air show. Well, we went to a parking lot somewhere kind of close to the air show so that we could occasionally see the planes zipping around in the distance. During one especially intricate run, the nickless one in question exclaimed in joy, “Ooo, look! He’s upside down! He’s sideways! He’s all squiggly-like!” After a brief discussion about the validity of the phrase “squiggly-like” in the English language, I said that I thought we had finally found a nickname for her; she immediately (and forcefully) declined.

Flash-forward back to Magic Pants’ final Sunday lunch where the nickless one, having just heard me reference her shutting down of the squiggly-like nick, proclaims that I never offered such a nick, and subsequently she could not have shot it down. I was momentarily speechless, and was this close to descending into a “Did so! Did not! Did so! Did not!” style argument, when I realized that luckily (at least in terms of the maturity level of our discourse) I had three witnesses to the initial squiggly-like conversation. I quickly called on Magic Pants, Cap’n Cluck, and The Anti-Cap’n to back me up, which they all did readily. The nickless one, slightly abashed, maintained that she didn’t remember it, but had no problems with the nick now. Magic Pants compared it to her own initial reaction to her nickname, saying that sometimes they just had to grow on you. Magic Pants then called for the attention of all at the table and put forward a motion that the squiggly-like nickname be applied, a motion which was quickly seconded and passed by a unanimous vote.

And thus, this particular nickless one was bequeathed the nickname “Squiggly,” and all was right with the world.

Until, that is, she reads this post and then comes after me for the Pushy McPusherson crack and uses her karate skills to make my body go upside-down, my limbs go sideways, and my internal organs go all squiggly like.