… In which Lifting Fog attempts to get back on track after an unanticipated blogging vacation. Sorry to our mothers and whoever else reads our electronic journal – we’ve broken our code in not providing fresh daily content. Or Henning’s broken the code; Steve had this post ready to go on Monday morning. BUT LET’S NOT PLAY THE BLAME GAME. The future is now, and we’re making ourselves a Jenny Craig-style promise to keep dropping knowledge one post at a time. Thanks for your patience, everyone.
Do you remember the last time you addressed someone by referring to their appearance in a hilarious, maybe semi-offensive way? I do. I called a co-worker “Jimbo Slim” on my way out the door (his real name is James). And I laughed to myself about how clever I was all the way to the car, and even a bit while driving. There are few things in this world that are as generation-transcending as the usage of nicknames. Where many things in our sordid American history can eventually be traced back to some form of inherent racism or classism, nicknames have always been a good clean way of hitting below the belt. A well timed and planned nickname can effectively:
- Break the ice, eg: “I’d rather take you to the dance, Susie, Sandy’s a real brace-face!” Score!
- Break in the new guy, eg: “Look at four eyes over here trying to make a copy!” Zing!
- Break someone’s heart, eg: “Sorry honey, your best friend’s just not quite the Orca you’ve become since the birth of our 2nd son!” Whoops!
To be clear, while some of these may seem a bit harsh, all of them are funny and will get a laugh most, if not all, of the time. Its true life is fleeting; which is why its that much more important to nail the all important zinger in a crucial moment, hopefully in front of people. If a man calls another man “Sloppy Joe” (his real name is Joseph) in a forest, does anyone laugh? Keep your jabs public to ensure a heightened sense of wit and favor with friends, families, and peers. How about some examples. I dare you, the reader, to resist laughing out loud at this (warning: spoiler alert!) Too funny Sawyer!
Think of nicknames as the great equalizer. A well thought out, socially relevant sting can topple even the highest mountain. No one liked watching Rufio be reduced to such painfully banal linguistic skills as his final jab in the most epic nickname battle ever captured on film (re: You man! You stupid, stupid man!) but goddamn it if it didn’t make for a nonstop laugh fest! So before you’re too quick to judge someone of a different race, religion, or creed, realize that its much more simple (and you’ll find, much funnier) to make a play on words using their name (bonus points for rhyming, alliteration, and references to physical appearance). Eg: “Shakespeare? Might as well be called Shakes-boring-me-to-tears!” Everyone will love you for your wit and if its a good one (I expect nothing less from our readers), it’ll change the way people refer to your victim for the rest of their God-given life. Bangarang You!