Friday, September 30, 2011

Evolution of a Nickname

Hi everyone, my name is Dale.

Dale was not the name I was given on my day of birth. No, like many nicknames, this particular handle was given to me much later in life. The first time somebody called me Dale, I just knew it would stick. Nicknames are funny that way.

What’s in a name? Not much. What’s in a nickname? A whole hell of a lot.

I’d always hoped my nickname would be something cool. Perhaps a reference to Johnson size, something like the Hammer maybe. But see that’s the thing about nicknames…you can’t pick them. In high school, I thought it made sense that my nickname would be D-Mac but it just never materialized. See our high school already had a D-Mac.

So until that unforgettable day, my name was simply Dave.

It was a day like any other in high school. Early in the semester, students were all eager to make a good first impression with their newest lot of educators. David MacDonald was no different. As I walked into that English class, my goal was simple. Keep a low profile. Get in and get out type of thing. The attendance sheet made its way around the room and I found myself temporarily distracted by the soothing baritones of the teacher as she set the stage for what sounded like a terrifying semester. The attendance sheet skipped by but my seat mate, let’s call him the Ram Man (Another excellent nickname story) assured me that my name had been recorded.

It came time for the first call out of the year. A question was posed to the scholarly gathering, a question that I knew I could not answer. The inquisitor glanced down at the attendance sheet in front of her and stalked her first victim.

“Dale” she said sternly…

I was off the hook. I had dodged the impending embarrassment and some poor sap named Dale was now on the hot seat.

“Dale” she repeated, this time with an intensity that made me pity poor Dale.

It was the first day of the semester and the new kid (I didn’t know any Dales at this school) had been called on to answer the most complicated of questions. Poor, poor Dale. As I glanced up from my desk, reality hit me like a high-speed locomotive. You see, that bull of a teacher was looking at me. That’s impossible I remember thinking. My name is David, Dave perhaps, but Dale?

“You are DALE!” she barked out her eyes locked directly on me.

You see the Ram Man had hoodwinked me. When filling out the attendance sheet, he had written DAVE with that V on an extreme angle giving it the appearance of an L. Yep, I was Dale and it was pretty clear I would be from that point on.

The name has evolved over the years. Dusty Daley…Dusty…Daley Double…Ding Dong Daley…LaDale. But in the end, among the Lads anyway, my name is Dale and it seems pretty clear it will be from here on out.

Like Yeamax, D wreck, Skeet, Bert, CC, White Ron, Dumpy, Hook, Latsy, Dirk, Anus, Clinger, Savs, Mick, Brode, Jules/Buckpitt, Stinky, Petey, Donzo, Smitty, Howie, Jammer, Foss, Dodd Dogg, Vonner, Kelvy, JWo, AM Radio, PermaBone, Dinkson, Zogs, Kaner, Cormer, the Big Sleeze, Ram Man/Crash Man, and the Hurricane all found out, the name you are given at birth rarely sticks.

1 comment:

  1. Well, you can dip me in Dogshit and call me Barncat.