I have decided to eschew the few nicknames that have previously been hung on me by friends and family and begin a search one more appropriate to my age and author of weird stories.
Technically, “Mike” is nickname for “Michael,” but it is hypocoristic in nature, and I would prefer my nickname be less of a term of endearment and more of a sobriquet…a nice sobriquet.
When I was a child, my father gave me my first nickname. Dad flouted convention of the times and bypassed such names as “Sonny,” or “Junior” or “Mickey,” and went with “Shithead” instead.Thankfully, the name didn’t catch on with my other family members. When I was in grammar school, I was occationally called “Four Eyes,” because I wore glasses. Unfortunately, this was considered a derogatory name, and,at times, I had to defend my pre-teen honor by means of fisticuffs.
In high-school I was a gifted athlete and fairly popular. I thought I might get a nickname with some real meat to it like Mike “The Badger,” or Mike “The Feral Pig,” but they were not forthcoming.
Once I left high school, I left nicknames behind. I didn’t have one in college either. When I joined the military, I got used to being called “Shithead” again although secretly I preferred “Dr. Death,” or “Dances With Poodles.”
When I began my writing career, I thought of using a nom de plume but quickly abandoned the idea when a veteran journalist told me, “If you’re going to write stuff, the take ownership of it; don’t hide behind a pseudonym.” He was right, of course.
These days, the only person who calls me by a nickname is my best friend, Dan. He calls me “Thug,” which is a play off my last name “Hood.”
I do have a web name which is Emmuttmax. I’ll keep that name for the internet, but I need a literary nickname. The thing is though–according to the rules of nicknaming–I cannot choose my own nickname; it must be bestowed on you by someone else.. Now, my dead dog has a great nickname: Pathetic Bob. He is also a writer, and his nickname was given to him by my brilliant nephew Brian “The Inquisitor.” Brian, however, refuses to recognize my brilliance as a writer and will not honor me with a cool, literary nickname.
Since I am a semi-proud guy, I refuse to plead with friends or family to come up with an appropriate nickname. So, I remain nicknameless. If one doesn’t come along soon, I may resort back to “Shithead;” it sort of fits with the kind of stories I write.