Welcome to the new and improved Big City James. Like its predecessor, Big City James, Big City James strives to educate, inform, and hilariousify its readers. Won't you be one of them? Click “Follow” to follow this blog. I don't know what that means, exactly, except that I might have access to your social security numbers, or pictures of you in a bathing suit. Either way, our next run-in will be weird.
Anyway, I really do hope to gain readership as I embark on a new, and hopefully more reliable venture with the blogspot people. Not only that, I hope to make more friends in real-life too (friends I can turn onto the blog because blogspot has a counter-thing, which will be my new obsession). I worry, though, that even though I run into a fair number of people in my daily life in this Big City, there is nothing about me which is particularly memorable. There are people I've met in my life only a few times, but I will always remember them because of some defining characteristic they possessed which made them memorable, like the girl with the teardrops tattooed on her face (fun fact: I met her while working at a video store several years ago, and she always rented Scrubs. Now the two things are inextricably linked in my mind. Teardrop tattoos=Scrubs). Anyway, I don't know what happened to her, but if I found she had a blog, I'd read it!
It doesn't take much to be memorable, even a strange physical quirk. This is going to sound controversial, but its really not. If Hitler wasn't a genocidal monster, people would still remember his stupid moustache. Even if he never killed anyone! Come to think of it, Gorbachev too could have been a dog-walker and he'd still be known for that grape juice stain on his head. But aside from my svelte wrists, pizza gut, and head shaped like a bean, I lack any memorable physical attributes. And I don't have a nightclub act like Don Rickles or Bob Hope, and as such can't have a signature song (though if I could it would be “Bette Davis Eyes” or “Axel F.”) So there's really only one way to go about this.
Dream: Get a nickname.
Goal: Achievable. It's not as if my given name is so instantly memorable that a nickname isn't a possibility. If my given name was something unique like Cranford or musical like Beppi Nippleson, I wouldn't have a hope in hell.
Plan: Introduce myself to new people by this nickname and hope it sticks, I guess.
I want a kick-ass nickname. Something cool like Steak. I don't know why anyone would call me that, but it would be so neat to show up at a kegger and go, “WHO ORDERED THE STEAK!” and everyone would cheer and the women would expose their breasts (as is my rudimentary understanding of keggers). But I think the cross to bear with nicknames is they're often not self-administered.
I went to school with this guy whose real name, we'll pretend, was Paul. One day, Paul referred to himself as Danny (also changed, just in case), an equally common, but unremarkable name. We were confused. “Danny?” we said, “But your name is Paul.” And Paul goes, “Yeah, I know. But I want to be called Danny now.” We were a little put out by this. “You can't just give yourself a nickname!” a classmate of mine said. “That's not how it works!” I should mention here that this was in university, this isn't an eight year old trying on a new identity. Anyway, Paul said, “Well sure I can. Why can't I?” And my classmate said, “Nope. Can't be done. And if it can, I'm just gonna call you Vegetable Lasagna. Hey, everybody! It's Vegetable Lasagna.” Unfortunately for Paul, the latter nickname stuck like glue.
And truthfully, I have a lousy history with nicknames myself. One of my first real jobs was in a restaurant, I was a Host. When I first started, I volunteered to help move some heavy piece of equipment from the loading dock to the kitchen. Predictably, I failed. I needed more help than was necessary and shrugged to new coworkers, “Sorry Guys. Seems I have the strength of a newborn kitten today” thus earning me the nickname Kitten. I didn't mind that part. The waitresses thought it made me adorable and they seemed to forgive my rookie mistakes more easily (“Who double-sat me? Oh, Kitten? Well that's alright.”) My mistakes were less forgivable to the kitchen staff, though, and the tough, scarred-up main cook guy started referring to me as the Cat. Similar name, but bad connotation. When I would come into the kitchen to run an order, he'd go, “Who let the cat in here?” Or he'd say, “I need to plate this, get that fucking cat out of the way!” That's the nature of nicknames, I suppose.
And if the nature of nicknames is that one can never choose his own, then maybe having one isn't such a good idea. I'd love to be Reynaldo Sexpenis but I have a feeling I'd sooner be referred to as Dr. Fartz. But I guess the worst name to be called is none at all. So welcome to the New Big City James at blogspot.com. I'm James and I'd proud to be your Host, but you can call me whatever you want.