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Monday, January 14, 2019

You called me what?

A high school mate of mine died last week. I didn't recognize his name in the obituary but when someone sent me an updated copy that included his nickname, bells began ringing right away. I remember him as an amiable fellow, never recall him getting into trouble at school. I remember that fellow students liked him very well and he didn't stand out from the crowd in a negative way.

 School was pretty non-dramatic in that era. Oh, we had the occasional fistfights and tussles but nothing serious. This was back in the day when nearly every guy who drove himself to school had a fully loaded gun rack mounted on the back glass of his truck. Those trucks were seldom locked, nor did they need to be. Nobody thought twice about guns on school campus because everyone knew those guns were used for hunting. There was never a shooting nor do I recall the threat of a shooting. Fights were fought with words or fists and grudges weren't held onto for very long. I know, it sounds foreign even to me now, but I was there and it was reality. There were no cell phones but if you misbehaved, your momma knew about it before you got home and your daddy took care of it when he got home. Common sense was fairly common then. But I digress.

 My friend 's nickname would not be allowed in school (or anywhere else) today, and I'm not advocating that it should be; I'm merely bemoaning the differences in then and now. He was a fairly well-balanced guy from all I remember. He served his country during a time of war, married and had a nice family. He was a member of a good church. I never read of him being arrested for any crime so apparently he never had any really bad issues from going through life with his nickname. In fact, we all thought it was kind of cool. I don't know who gave him this name but he was called Chubby. Oh I know, you wouldn't let anyone call your child that today. But Chubby had a fairly pleasant attitude and I never heard a complaint about his nickname.

 It could be that Chubby's parents named him after a well-known singer who was born about 30 miles away. You may have never heard of Chubby Checker but I'm pretty sure you have heard of the dance that took the world by storm,"The Twist." It seems that his nickname didn't hurt his career at all. I can't help but wonder if our touchiness coincides with the time in our history that we removed the source of  moral standards from our society. We now find ourselves in a state where somebody is offended by everything. An old, reliable book says "Great peace have they who love thy law and nothing shall offend them." So you can just call me a law-lover. What's your nickname?

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