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Monday, August 1, 2011

Who the heck is Chuck? (or my gaggle of nicknames)

Most people get through life with a nickname or two.  Me, I have possibly a dozen.  Let me tell you about them.  First of all my first name is John.  My Mother wanted to call me David so at school I always have to remember who I am on the first day.

The first nickname I received was Dave.  When I started band as a freshman for whatever reason, Bill my section leader started to call me Dave.  I tried to correct him and he ignored it.  Everytime he would introduce me it was Dave.  People who had know me for years called me Dave. 

Next was Chuck.  Mark Bumphus is personally responsible for that one.  You need some backstory on this one.  When I was in 8th grade, I had some ingrown toenails that had to be surgically removed.  They were awful.  The doctor said I should wear some type of leather shoe so they could breath better.  My Mother feeling sorry for the pain I was in went out and found me a pair of leather shoes . . . .that were hideous.  (I understand the song Parents Just Don't Understand)  The story goes is that Mark saw them and commented they looked like some kind of sad mix of Chuck Taylors and Buster Browns (There's a shoe brand you haven't heard in 20+ years)  If you don't know Mark he had a way of yelling stuff in a sing-song like voice that would carry all the way across a crowded cafeteria.  I went by one day and he said/sang, "There goes Chuck Brown!!"  Pretty soon everyone was calling me that.  Eventually the Brown got dropped.  For four years in high school I was Chuck.  I liked the name.  Didn't honestly care how it came about. If someone mentioned Chuck most people knew who it was back then.  I thought it was kinda cool.

Next up is the Clyde/Herman nickname.  For those of you who forgot I worked at Dairy Queen.  Ken Walker was the owner.  He told me once he couldn't remember all the new people so he just called the guys Clyde and Herman.  I started out as Clyde.  Daniel Davis started around the same time, he was Herman.  I had been there a week, went on vacation, came back and Daniel was Clyde, and I was Herman.  And I was, for 5 or 6 years.  Heck even now when I see Ken he yells Herman.  I loved Ken and Jody to death for all they did to me, and I gladly respond to it anytime.

Somewhere in here there was a Saturday morning that Dad and I were sitting around the house waiting for a UK game to start and Loony Tunes was on.  It was the one about the abominable snowman and Daffy being mistaken for a rabbit.  You know, "I will love him, and pet him, and queeze him, and name him George."  I looked over at Dad and said you look like a George.  He just laughed.  In the next one, there was a dog named Bubba, and Dad said I looked like a Bubba.  The rest of the day we called each other that.  And the day after that and after that.  Today, I'll call my Dad, he'll answer and I'll say, "Geroge?"  "Hey Bubba."  It's our thing.

Then there was Woodcraft.  There was a guy there named Jeff who was about 5 inches taller than me, but my size.  He always wore a tee shirt with a pocket in the front.  One day he had a roll of electrical tape in it and I said, "Jeff, you look a little lumpy there."  He got a big grin on his face and said, "You of all people shouldn't be calling people lumpy. . .Lumpy."  And from then on at Woodcraft I was Lumpy.

While I was at WKU bookstore, the assistant GM loved to harass me, and I'd harass right back.  One night we were closing together, and Jim said to some of the new cashiers, "You know David's wife calls him Mr. Delicious, don't you."  Richelle has never called me that, but for the next couple of years, I was referred to as that constantly.

The last nickname is one I shot down immediately.  I was trying to help a young lady with her financial aid, and she asked me my name.  I told her and she asked me if it would be alright if she referred to me as  "Big Daddy D Delicious".  She said it would be easier to remember.  I told her no, it would not be alright!  That was the last thing I needed!

I've had others through out my life.  JD, Big D, and others, but that's the lowdown on how I became the man of many names.  Til next time . . .whenever that is . .

"Chuck"

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