punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Nyah, nyah... your name ryhmes with ... something I can't think of, so you're fat!

I had posted earlier about Ted calling me "insulting" versions of my name in my blogs before, and I couldn't remember when anyone had ever done that, so I have spent the last few days thinking about it. Last time was at work, a while back, where some guy "found out" my convention nickname was "Punkie" (it's not exactly a secret), and decided to tease me with that for a while. He would have been 35 today (just kidding). Actually, I don't know what happened to "Howie," as I started to call him, I am sure Sean will know. But then we have this looong gap back to high school.

Having a name like "Gregory" served me well, growing up. I had school chums with names that were FAR more easier to make fun of, because they rhymed with something (e.g. "Scarin' Karen" on "Jean, Jean, the Jellybean"), or just sounded odd (like poor "Yogesh Uppidya," who got called "Yogurt Diarrhea" a lot) in the white-bread American name landscape at the time. The best they could come up with me was "Greg the Pegleg Egg" (and for the holidays, added "ate nutmeg"), which was fairly weak at best. When I played the lead for "A Christmas Carol," I got called Scrooge a lot, but I was kind of proud of making the lead, so that didn't bother me at all. One summer school I got called "Butterball" a lot because I was fat, and some people called me "Charlie Brown," because, as they saw it, I couldn't win. In junior high, this kid named Danny Jarris came up with a classic, "What's the difference between Greg and a Bucket of Lard? The Bucket! Haw haw haw!" So, for years, I was known as "Bucket," and that did hurt for a while, and it even held on even when I lost weight. And then it became common for "the others" to call me that because, I think, it had been a nickname for so long, people didn't know I had another name. But by the senior year of high school, name calling was pretty much outgrown, and only one guy held out, but he called me "Buckaroo" (after Buckaroo Banzai) in friendly jest, so that didn't count.

These days, I don't hear much name calling. Occasionally at cons I see it, but you have to REALLY be a freak-assed person to get fandom to name call you. There's this one guy who goes around anime cons around here who looks like a skinny homeless guy, with a slouch, scraggly bead, and messed up hair. He seems like maybe some bum who hangs around the shipyards... except he wears Sailor Moon costumes. He's known as "Sailor Scary," and that's kind of mean, because he never seems to do anyone any harm. He just lopes around the convention floor, looking disconnected and partially bored. Like the Desolate Transvestite. But he's a rare exception. I hear stories from other people's jobs, where bitter employees gang up on some poor soul they are jealous of, or just can't stand working with. I was doing that for a while. There was this guy I called "Stoner" because, well, he looked like a hippie lost in time, and when he talked to you, he'd stop mid sentence and space out, he never got much work done, and no one could ever find him. But after a while, I thought that was just mean and unfair to make a personal attack and an assumption I based on a stereotype, and I don't want to be that kind of person. I solved the problem by working with him as least as possible, or by constantly leaving decisions up to him and giving him a lot of "the ball's in your court" kind of endings. He never gets back to me, and thus, problem solved. But I'd never stoop to actually, you know, making fun of his name or anything. That's just... 3rd grade-ish.

So when Ted decided to make fun of my name by calling me "Griggy," I don't think he was aware that my first thought was, "Bwah! That's what other children call me, too!" A lot of my friend's kids either call me "Uncle Punkie," or "Grig/Griggy," but unlike Ted, they're like 10 years old or younger. I mean physically.

This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000451.html
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