Boy of Many Names
It is probably too late for Child Protective Services to get involved. Nevertheless, any social workers or child psychologists reading this are invited to make therapeutic comments so I can heal from my confusing childhood.
My Grampa Carlson called me Pardner. It had something to do with me constantly wearing a cowboy hat, I suspect.
My Uncle Forrey called me Herkimer. I am not sure why. I would have preferred Hercules. He had names for others too. My cousin Bob was Jocko. My ballerina cousin Barbie was Muscles.
My Uncle Don would often say, “Alan Douglas (my real name), you are a mental case!” That actually did not bother me because I did not know what he meant. I thought he was saying “metal case.” It did not make sense, but it did not seem derogatory. I mean, metal is hard and a boy called a metal case was obviously tough.
Uncle Luke called me Tarzan, an obvious compliment.
My Dad called me many names: Butch, describing my earliest haircut; Crash, a subtle reference to my lack of daintiness; Pal, which is common; and Double Ugly, which was a hilarious sarcasm about such a handsome young man.
Hey, what if Uncle Luke was the one being sarcastic and Dad and Uncle Don were the ones making accurate descriptions? Maybe we do need to get Social Services involved.