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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
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Who’s on First? You Don’t Wanna Know

I realized something troubling this week. My softball team is light on the player nicknames.

We’re not completely devoid of clever names. We do have a ‘Scoop’, which is cool. I presume we call him that because of his slick fielding, but nobody seems to know for sure. Maybe he just likes ice cream. Or had a job cleaning litter boxes at a pet store once. It’s a mystery.

But apart from ‘Scoop’, that’s about it. When we’re not calling each other by our real names — and how boring is that? — we resort to dusty old standbys like ‘Dude’ and ‘Batter’ and ‘Shortstop’. “Nice play, shortstop!” A two-year-old could come up with that. I’m ashamed of us.

Indeed, the pinnacle of our non-‘Scoop’ nomenclative creativity is the name we gave our left-handed guy. We call him ‘Lefty’. That’s just atrocious. If we don’t straighten up soon, the softball league will ask us to turn in our gloves and keg taps.

“Do I want to spend my summers hearing, ‘Nice play, Tinkles!‘ or ‘Swing away, Fattycakes!‘? I don’t think so.”

Somehow, our glaring deficiency in the moniker department escaped notice for several seasons. Until this week. On Tuesday, we played a team that must be the champions of calling each other names that their mothers wouldn’t recognize. It was beautiful. Their pitcher was ‘Scroogie’, who threw the ball to ‘Spuds’ behind the plate. They had ‘J-Dog’ and ‘Wheels’ in the middle infield, with ‘Smitty’ and ‘Milkshake’ manning the corners. In the outfield, it was ‘Bimbo’, ‘Slick’, and ‘Nails’. And ‘Kevin’.

(Yeah, I don’t know. Maybe Kevin’s new. Or they don’t like him much. I didn’t ask.)

These guys put our team to shame. Oh, sure — we won the game. We beat them by fourteen runs; the ump almost enforced the ‘mercy rule’ in the fifth inning. But I could barely look them in the eye as we shook hands afterward. ‘Bimbo’? ‘Milkshake’? We are not worthy.

I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands regarding our sad state of nicknaming affairs. I’m simply going to come up with names for the other players, and yell them out during games until they stick. This seems much better than my original plan to ask the guys to come up with a nickname for me, first. I’m the team smartass, remember, so that’s just begging for trouble? Do I want to spend my summers hearing, ‘Nice play, Tinkles!‘ or ‘Swing away, Fattycakes!‘? I don’t think so.

Still, I have to be careful. Just because I’m taking first crack at assigning names doesn’t mean it won’t come back to me eventually. And as hard — nay, nigh impossible — as it may be, it’s in my best interest to come up with nicknames that are flattering. Or neutral. Or at the very least, don’t include the word ‘booger’.

That makes things more challenging.

I’ve come up with a few ideas, though. For instance, there’s this infielder on our team who does a nice job of getting down on the ball, staying low to the ground to make plays. I think I’ll call him ‘WienerDog’. I’m sure he’d like that. And the girl who says she takes a bath before and after every game? ‘Tubby’ seems right for her. ‘Good eye, Tubby! Nice hustle, Tubba-lubba-ding-dong!‘ That’s got a nice ring to it.

Yep, soon our scandalous lack of nicknames will be a thing of the past. With a little perserverance and some powerful lungs, I’ll whip us into a team full of ‘BeaverCheeks’, ‘Greasys’, ‘SugarNips’, and ‘Tardos’ in no time. Then we’ll be playing some softball. The team will be so pleased.

Man. I am so going to get ‘Fattycakes’, aren’t I? Dammit.

Permalink  |  2 Comments

2 Responses to “Who’s on First? You Don’t Wanna Know”

  1. kerry says:

    yes, i don’t see anyway around that. rofl!

    fattycakes! *snicker*

  2. Morgan says:

    Nice post there fattycakes!

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