Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Where Have All the Characters Gone?

I was going to blog about butter chicken, but I'll put that on my food blog. So, instead, here is what is on my mind today--where the heck are all the "characters?"

When I was growing up, my father had a bunch of acquaintances in his 'hood who could only be considered characters. They had cool nicknames, and some were beyond quirky.

I grew up surrounded by Hootch, Googsie, Big T, Red, a couple Lefty's, Uncle Bunny, Ded's, Alfred the Great, Joe the Indian, Whitey, and "That Adversary Guy." While each had their own strange backstory, one stood out. As you have probably guessed, "That Adversary Guy" was the most interesting of the bunch.

I'm pretty sure "That Adversary Guy" had a real name. I never heard it. Hanging out at the garage on the corner, when anyone talked about "That Adversary Guy" everybody knew who they meant.

So, how did he get that name? The guy had some bad luck from time to time. Nothing horrible, just normal stuff. Like, his car needed gas. He was convinced that he didn't use a lot of gas, but that it was being siphoned out of his car at night by...say it with me as I'm sure you see where this is going...His Adversary.

A tear in his jacket pocket? I wonder how it got there?

I'll take "His Adversary, for $500, Alex." A hole in his shoe?

Once again, his adversary.

You are getting it now.

But he wasn't totally crazy. He lived in a house, had a job, dressed well (except for when "His Adversary" did those dastardly deeds) and drove a nice car, although it was prone to having gas siphoned by you know who. And the guy had normal conversations about everything else.

If only his adversary would have left him alone.



Chelle Blögger said...

Ha! I grew up with "Redpeck".

Guess how he got THAT name? :)

Squidsquirts said...

We get lots of characters in Cape Town, especially in the suburb closest to the mental institution. Fond memories, but occasionally one or two you just don't make eye-contact with.

Moonrayvenne said...

We still have 'em here in my little city in Michigan. My dad is called Reds or Red Devil. Then, there's Shipwreck, Whitey, Jimmy the Stiff, Meter Mike, Rocky, the Terrorist & our dearly departed Chip Man to name a few.

Deb said...

We had a few growing up: Half-Speed O'Hara, Nick the Greek, Kuck, & Pie Face. The latter was a woman, married to Kuck - it's as bad as you imagine.

ReformingGeek said...

I don't have anything that crazy but I had an Uncle Bebe (someone could not say baby) and an Uncle Chunkie (guess he was a little chubby).

DouglasDyer said...

My friends always talked about some guy they called "Goat Fucker" which was weird because I was the only guy in town with a goat farm. And they always stopped talking about him when I showed up. One of life's mysteries I suppose.

Kelly Ann said...

Oh they are still out there.. Redneck is there code name. Bless their little hearts.

Unknown said...

The new meds don't appear to be working. Sorry.

Paul Eilers said...

When I was a little infant, my nickname was "Pooh Pooh", because it seemed that I always had a stink stink in my diaper.

I grew out of that nickname, though.

Thank goodness.

Chris said...

Hang out at an elementary school sometime (well, okay, don't . . . people would get the wrong impression). But we have all kinds of characters: The Pee in her Pants Girl, Mr. Proud of his PeePee, The Bully, The "Someone's Picking on Me" Kid, etc. etc.

I think we may even have "The Adversary" but I can't be sure.

Donnie said...

Hooch and Googsie sound like my Scummy and Skipper. Something about those names just hit the spot. Must be a Leave It To Beaver complex. Lumpy and Whitey thing.

Sandee said...

Hey, I think I know this guy. Really. Bwahahahahahaha.

Have a terrific day Crotchety. :)

Unknown said...

One of my friends has an Uncle Fuzzy. He's a sweet guy, but about as close to the Randy Quaid character in the "Vacation" movies as it's possible to be, and not have a steel plate in his head.

And yes, he did have a leisure suit and a dickey.

brokenteepee said...

The publicist's father had a friend by the name of "Joey Knuckles"...uh,he died in prison.

nonamedufus said...

Try being stuck with my name!

Jen said...

We had a Griggsy, a Whitey, Red, of course, Gief (which is an incredibly long story) but no one like the adversary guy.

As for where they are now...they were all at my garage sale last week. Nuts in droves.

Da Old Man said...

@ Offended: I could, but I'd lose my pg-ish rating

@ Husbands Anon: I've met some of those. The characters I know are prety harmless

@ Collette: Nice that the traditions are still ongoing across America

@ Deb: Awesome nicknames.

@ Reforming: Uncle Bebe just made me lol

@ Douglas: I guess we'll never find out

@ Lady Sarcasm: Maybe because I live in a suburban/urban area

@ FishHawk: No problem :)

@ Paul: Fortunately

@ Chris: Yeah, but those names tend to eventually fall out of favor as the kids get older. These were adults

@ Don: They were classic nicknames

@ Sandee: Possibly. Scary, huh?

@ Jenn: That's another really good nickname.

@ Pricilla: I can't tell you the stories about my friend's father's buds. I'm afraid to type the names. You would even recognize some of them. Guaranteed.

@ Nonamed: True enough

@ Jen: Garage sales bring out the crazies

Lin said...

Back then, people were "quirky"--now folks are just plain weird. Or dangerous. We don't get to know our neighbors anymore, which is probably a good thing.

We've got a whole town of weird folk where we live, that's why I refer to it as Weirdville. But, we don't really talk to many of them.

Melanie said...

I have friends named Punk, Speed (he's done some time), Tater, Carp, Bear and Moose. Some of them I don't even want to know how they got their nickname and some of them I don't actually know their real name. But they're all real true characters.

Unknown said...

There are still a whole lot of characters around -- and they are so enjoyable!