Posted: October 11, 2012 by S. Trevor Swenson in Life, Me & Mine
Tags: , , , , , , ,

“From now on, I’m gonna call you “Skippy”.
“But, I don’t know how to skip.”

This morning (OK…OK… it was afternoon) I woke up to an e-mail from my best bud and faithful editor Gow. I mention Gow, or the Gow in many of my pieces. It is her small reward for being an unpaid editor, having to correct my atrocious spelling, grammar, punctuation and to gently telling me “This isn’t funny…yet”. It’s not easy to be critical of me. I sulk, I lash out, I bite my own arm and more often than not, all three. The Gow encourages me, tells me I don’t suck, gets me to stop biting my arm. (Somehow she can tell, even over the phone or via instant messenger. I suppose my typing speed slows dramatically with my teeth sunk deep into a forearm.) Gow pulls funny from me like an oral surgeon bobbing for wisdom teeth.

The e-mail she sent was in response to my whining that no one had commented on my last two blog entries. When I write anything I begin to have grandiose delusions about the scores of comments I’m sure to receive praising my wit. Usually I am quieted with a solitary positive comment. I also go trolling for commentary too. I respect my friend Ruprecht and routinely fish for compliments from him. He is living in a real writer’s freelance purgatory and doesn’t always have time to stroke my ego. Someone had left a comment and Gow wanted to tell me to brighten my day. She included a link and lo and behold there was a comment from Norma Desmond about my latest piece. It took me a moment to realize who “Norma Desmond” was, despite my having dubbed my friend with the moniker. It was my friend Silvia from Germany, who was now living in Spain with her husband Prince M. the nickname was born when I went to Berlin to visit Silvia and had brought along one of my favorite films; ”Sunset Blvd” to watch with her. One of the main characters in the film was an ex-silent movie actress who lived in an old mansion under the delusion that she was still a young star with thousands of adoring fans. The character, Norma Desmond, is played by real ex-silent movie queen and former mistress to Joseph Kennedy; Gloria Swanson. I immediately started calling Silvia “Norma” as she was haughty, high maintenance, beautiful in a vampish sort of way and a little crazy, much like Ms. Swanson’s classic role. Silvia took it in stride.

I was touched that she actually signed her comment with the nickname I had given her. I shall have to ask her what the word for “nickname” is in German.

“Ruprecht” is also a nickname, of course. And, it also comes from a film. “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”. Ruprecht is the mildly retarded, and socially disastrous fictitious brother of an international gigolo used to persuade wealthy, snotty women to disappear after having given the gigolo money with the promise of marriage. “Where Ruprecht goes, I go.” he’d explain. It was always the snotty upper crust women would end up going. I honestly don’t recall where and when I originally started calling my friend Ruprecht. We have one of those old, fraternal sorts of friendships that seem to inspire a fair amount of tongue in cheek abuse. He, in turn has called me “Bubba” affectionately, which I suspect is a sub-conscious dig at the Ugly American. Fair enough.

I am kind of a big nicknamer. I also have nicknames of my own. Here are a few of note in addition to the previously mentioned.

My friend Tiffany – “Poopie Pants” or “Tippany”

(She was called the latter by one of her young students who couldn’t pronounce her name. the former is just one of the many childish expressions I have become fond of, which most women have no patience for. Another favorite among these is Bossy Boots. Although Tippany is a quiet and demure young lady, and hardly a Bossy Boots.)

My friend Arkiem – “Keemy” or “Light and Keemy” when he is dieting

My ex-girlfriend Beverly – “Pokey”

(I used to poke her in the side just to watch her jump. She hated it.)

My Boss Dave – “The Leprechaun”

(He is rather short and Irish.)

My roommate Niki – “Slut”

(She has an active social life and wears tight pants.)

My co-worker Priscilla – “Blondie”

(She has dark hair, yet acts blond.)

My friend Jamaican John and my step-brother John – Both dubbed “Zah”

(“Zah” is an evolution from “John”…to “Little John”, to “Lil John” and eventually to “Lil Zah”.)

My late mother – ”Crazy Lady”

My friend Brendan – “Beef” or “BJ”

(He gets really angry when I call him BJ.)

My former Employer – “Leona Helmsley”

(A fussy ingrate, control freak, little queen.)

My former employer’s partner – “Darth Vader”

(For his evil side.) “Cuddles” (Because he was so morose and miserable.) or “Brainiac” (Becasue he was cerebrally challenged.) and finally “Diamond Jim” (Because although he was quite well off financially, he was unbelievably cheap and miserly.)

My friend Karen – “Special K”

(Originally my step brother called my father ( Kenny ) “Special K” because of his beer belly. He is quite svelte now.)

My friend Pamela – “Pamela J”

(“J” is the first letter of her middle name and she delighted in not telling me what it stood for. “Jezebel” she’d tease.)

When I was 16, my friend “Hippy Jane” started calling me “Swampthing” after we watched a movie trailer. There are perhaps 3 or 4 people in the world who still call me this, and although I never cared for the nickname, it does, in this case remind me of old friends. Jane’s friend who wasn’t crazy about me started calling me “Fubsy” which is a real word meaning short and pudgy. I have always been sensitive about my weight and build, and I’ve noticed many tall women generally like to crack on men of average height. “Hey toots, I’m not short, you’re a WNBA reject.” After the third or fourth time she called me “Fubsy” I countered with “I wouldn’t talk about other people’s weight if I were you.” she practically cried and stormed off. Everyone got mad at me. Hey, she started it.

If anyone would like a nickname, please contact me, divulge ugly and embarrassing personal data, and I will see what I can come up with.

  1. Norma Desmond says:

    OMG, now the whole world knows, what a crazy character I am. Thanks for the “Spitzname”, Lippy 😉

  2. You’re internationally famous now meine liebe Norma

    Danke liebchen

  3. Tippany says:

    Your nicknames make me feel loved. I prefer them to you making fun of the misfortunes in my dating life any day. Lol

    DP & PP
    (big heart carved around this on an Oak Tree)

  4. […] (her nick name or spitzname was explained in a previous post), “Why don’t the German’s have a sense of […]


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