When I was eleven or twelve I tried earnestly to change my name to Jake. I’m not sure what I was reading at the time, but the idea got in my head somehow that “Jake” was a cooler, tougher, and more dashing derivative of Juancho than “Johnny” as I was widely known. I tried assertive measures like:
Coach “Butch” Downing: “Johnny get over there with Levi and Joe, you’re on skins team.”
Jake: “It’s Jake Coach, just call me Jake.”
Coach “Butch” Downing: (pause) “I SAID YOU’RE SKINS, I DIDN”T ASK YOU WHAT YOUR NAME IS- GO RUN A LAP!”
(Jake runs a lap.)
I also tried subtle techniques like signing my homework “Jake Doe”. My History Teacher, Ms. Betty Phillips would read off the names while passing our work back to us and when I saw her well-traveled face scrunch up like she sucked on a lemon I knew she was holding Jake’s homework.
Ms. Betty Phillips: “JAKE? WHO IN THE TAR IS JAKE?”
(Jake raises his hand.)
Ms. Betty Phillips: (Shakes head and spits in the trash can) “JAKE?”
(Jake slinks up the aisle to retrieve highest grade in class homework.)
It’s true. Jake killed World History.
In time my dreams of becoming Jake passed. I put Jake’s denim British touring cap in the back of his underwear drawer and settled into a placid adolescence as Juancho, as you know me now- you’re humble(except for the 104 Average in World History) blogger.
Since then, the nicknames have been few and far between.
How about y’all? Got any good nicknames? Lived down any bad ones?
Come on Booger, don’t be shy.
-out ’til Sunday.