Back in my days at Georgetown News-Graphic, my friend (and sports editor) Josh Underwood would occassionally ponder which nickname would best suit him. The would usually lead to a spirited round of debates within the newsroom, often with someone pointing out that you can’t pick your own nickname — it has to evolve naturally for it to work.
Nevertheless, Josh would press on, throwing out such possibilities as Ace, Deuce (apparently he enjoyed the card theme), Chief and others I can’t fully recall. We almost always came back to Ace as being the best choice for Josh, a tag that somehow seemed to fit, although it never caught on.
Now, years later, I’ve started considering the same thing for myself. I’ve never had a nickname, other than a few name-based changes of pace, which clearly don’t count. I’ve never been an Ace or Deuce, let alone a Pancho or Lefty.
I’ve recently been watching The Wire on DVD, and the first season (which I’m about to finish soon) has a whole list from which to choose (I’m not sure on the spellings, so obsessive fans should please forgive me): Wee Bay, Little Man, Stinkem, Pooh, D, Stringer.
I like it.
So, combining these possibilities with my long-time love of the New York Mets, I offered up two possibilities: Mookie and Flapjack. Granted, Flapjack has nothing to do with The Wire or the Mets, but still, it has a nice ring to it. Besides, it’s funny.
Half of my friends argue that Mookie will never work, with one friend thinking that somehow it will prove to be a racist comment and another refusing to acknowledge my question regarding the likelihood of me successfully looking like a Mookie.
Other friends, though, are jumping on board (although none use it on a regular basis, and by “regular basis” I mean “ever”).
This chat with a friend, though, sold me on it:
Kevin: If you had to pick a nickname for me,w hat woudl it be?
MIRANDA: A nickname? For what reason?
Kevin: So that i can have a nickname
MIRANDA: You can just ask for a nickname. It has to be earned. lol
Kevin: but IF …
MIRANDA: Um… I don’t really know. That’s a tough one.
Kevin: what about mookie or flapjack?
MIRANDA: hahaha. I like ‘FlapJack.’
Kevin: but not Mookie?
MIRANDA: Well, Mookie makes me think of that basketball player, Mookie Blaylock. That was his name, right?
Kevin: blaylock played basketball. mookie wilson played baseball
MIRANDA: Interesting. Why do you like the name Mookie so much? What about ‘Mean Machine’? lol
Kevin: Mookie is just a good nickname
I’m not mean!
MIRANDA: I guess it is. lol. So you want to be Mookie Hall? That does sound pretty cool.
Kevin: Not officially “Mookie,” but just on occassion
and yes, Mookie Hall does sound cool
however, you’d think someone named Strother wouldn’t need another name
MIRANDA: Okay. I see. So, you have guidelines to when your nickname is used? Is that allowed? lol
Kevin: Well, definitely in the bedroom. That’s a given
Kevin: But mainly it will be used for storytelling
MIRANDA: Oh, okay. Well that does make sense. So we won’t be seeing Mookie on your business cards? : )
Kevin: “We’re here live at the health department with Mookie Hall. So, Mookie, what can you tell us about swine flu?”
MIRANDA: Very cool. I’m liking Mookie the more we talk about it!
Kevin: Don’t you think you can trust a Mookie?
MIRANDA: I do. I think a Mookie would ‘have my back’ and respect me too.
Kevin: Mookie would call a girl the next day
MIRANDA: Yes he would. And, Mookie would be invited to all the parties. And, if Mookie wasn’t there, everyone who questions, “Hey, where’s Mookie? Is he coming!? It’s not a party without Mookie!”
MIRANDA: I like it. Go with it, Mookie!
Kevin: i’m sold
MIRANDA: Awesome. From here on out, I will refer to you as Mookie, Mookie.
Kevin: the ONLY problem with it is that it almost sounds too much like a pet name
MIRANDA: Like Pookie? lol
a girl who likes me has signed off on Mookie, and when she says it, it’s almost like a pet name
so, i need you to Mookie me, too
MIRANDA: Well, I’ve always thought names starting with an M are a little more powerful.
Mookie is manly.
Kevin: of course!
MIRANDA: Mookie is mature.
Kevin: yet playful
MIRANDA: Mookie is malevolent when he wants to be.
But, Mookie is everyone’s favorite guy!
Kevin: i’m laughing out loud at you
MIRANDA: LOL. Good. And, people can shorten it to Mooks or Moox once in awhile. Or, the Mookmaister…
Or, Mook Man…
Kevin: “What’s up, Mook?”
MIRANDA: No. “What up, Mook?” No ‘s’.
MIRANDA: Mookie is a multiracial name too!
Kevin: I support all colors and backrounds
Mookie is all inclusive
MIRANDA: Exactly! Mookie is the man. He’s a man’s man and a lady’s man.
Kevin: He’s just Mookie.