Do we all long to have a nickname? I did, and when I was in grade school I tried to give myself one. It didn’t take. Since then I’ve always thought that nicknames must be chosen by others, people who have observed your particular peculiarities or, perhaps, find something amusing about your given name.
One of the Captain’s friends gave him a nickname when he was a boy – ‘Salad’ – harvested from the garden of his last name. It didn’t stick though and no one other than this one friend ever used it.
A year ago the Captain filled out one of those endless forms we are given in Doctors’ offices. One of the questions was simply, “Nickname.” ‘Well,’ thought the Captain, ‘I guess everyone must have one. I don’t, but I would like to. I’ve always thought of myself as ‘Speedy’ ‘ and he wrote that on the form. It felt just right when the doctor breezed into the examining room a few minutes later with a cheerful, “Hi there, Speedy.”
It’s hard to change your name when you and your friends have used the same one for, oh, let’s just say ‘many’ years; but the Captain, I mean Speedy, is persistent and has reminded all of us from time to time of his new moniker. I knew it was serious when he put his new nickname on his scooter.
Not too long ago he mentioned that he’d like not to be ‘the Captain’ any more in these pages, so join me in wishing that alias a fond goodbye and welcoming ‘Speedy’ to our midst. Same great guy, new name, and one of the few people who’s ever had the satisfaction of choosing his own nickname.