Sunday, January 12, 2014

Nicknames and hubris...

Den of the Beastly Bear

Hi Folks!
Conversations I've had over the past few days, as well as blogs I've read, got me thinking of this...

How many of you have had a "nickname" over the years? I mean other than your blogger name.

I've worn a few over the years, given by friends or coworkers. The first I remember was a few years after High school I got a job as a bouncer at a local bar to help supplement my income. Now I wasn't a huge guy, at 5'11" there were plenty taller. But at 255lbs. a 34" waist and 50" chest, I was solid. When the owner hired me, he said, "Goddamn boy, you're Heavy Duty!" and so that's what he started calling me. Consequently, so did the female manager, the bartenders, and waitresses.

But I NEVER referred to myself by that name. Such would have been the height of hubris!
I pride myself in never having HAD to fight in my position there...but as they say perception is 90% of reality, and nicknames can affect perception.

For instance:
We had this cute little bartender named Kelley. Five-foot nothin' long blonde curly hair, blue eyes, and all of about 98lbs. soaking wet. To say the least, I was infatuated!

One night she comes over to bring me a coke and says "There's this guy at the bar, he just won't leave me alone. Keeps making rude comments and hitting on me. Can you do something, but don't let him know I said anything?"
I said, "I'll come over in a little bit, you just play along, follow my lead ok?"
So she goes back to bartending after pointing out which guy. He was sitting at the end of the bar alone, couple empty seats between him and anyone else.

So I walk over to the bar, and into the space next to him.
As I walked up, the other bartender Lisa called out "Heavy Duty!", I smiled and waved as she and Kelley were both busy with customers.
So this guy has obviously had plenty, and he says 
"Hey, aren't you the bouncer?"
"Yes sir, I am."
"So....why they call you 'Heavy Duty'?"
"Well, I guess it's cause I've never lost a fight in this bar...ever." 
(Technically true, considering I never had to)
At this moment Kelley comes over, I said 
"Hon, could you grab me a Rolling Rock?"
She said sure and went to get one from the cooler, bending over to get my beer.
"Would you look at the ass on that!" the drunk says loudly, nudging me and spilling a little beer from his glass.
"Uh-huh," I said, disinterested...
"Man, whoever takes HER home is one LUCKY BASTARD!!!" A little too loud for polite conversation.
"Thanks," I said
"Huh??" He slurred, obviously confused.
"Well, that'd be me...that's my wife!"
Kelley overheard the last as she walked up with my beer and said "Here you go Babe...hey my mom wants us to come over for dinner Sunday, I told her I had to talk to you."
"That's fine, we don't have anything else going on" 
I said, as I took my beer and turned to face the drunk.
You could actually, literally, see the blood leave his face, he turned ghostly white and looked a little sick...
" man, I...I didn't know....I'm sorry...shit I'm sorry!!!" the last was directed to Kelley as he laid a $20 bill on the bar a swiftly made his way to the door...

She kinda laughed and said "His tab was only $7.50,
you can play my husband anytime!"
Never saw him in there again, LOL!

Over the years I've been Heavy Duty, Bear, Ajax ('stronger than dirt' for those of you old enough to remember), and Mongo(yes the one from 'Blazing Saddles'), "The Evil One",  but I have never promoted these when I met someone new, I let them learn them on their own.

Not everyone is that way...

There have been a few guys I've met over the when I first transferred up to Flint. Another guy and I were being shown our jobs by the team leader. He says
"Name's Jim X, but everybody calls me 'Hacksaw'"
"Oh, why's that?" I asked
He swelled up like a toad and says,
"Because I tell'em too, that's why..."
I thought to myself, "Really?!?"
"Ok, Jim. I'll keep that in mind!"
What kind of idiot, has that kind of balls with guys he just met??? Talk about hubris!!!

So now here I am...
promoting myself as the Beastly Bear! Lol
Truly, you would have just been reading "The Bear's Den" had it not been taken!!! So I had to get creative...
So for all of you that wonder...that's why!
No hubris, just expediency!

Be Well Folks!

Beastly Bear


  1. When we were in high school, my fiance' used to call me 'Shorty' and 'Blondie', even though he was way blonder than I was. He now has lots of nicknames for me which are adorable, and I call him Bear because he's a big teddy bear of a guy. Mostly my nicknames were derived from my first name, Joanne. A few people in high school called me Nitro b/c of my temper.

    1. Hi JoJo thanks for dropping by!
      That's sweet you guys have that great relationship with "pet" names!!!