Name Calling

“Jim Class” is a feature that airs within The HomeFix Show. Wrtiten by original charter show listener Jim Forrer from Caldwell Idaho, Jim shares his observations, life experiences  and lessons learned in life. Joe Prin reads these at various times in most of the HomeFix Shows. Here is the original written text.

While playing and cavorting around with two front teeth missing and my ears sticking out like bat wings, I must have been a beautiful child. Because of my handsome demeanor and stature, they called me ‘joker.’  Their teasing and banter abated not. This kind of activity went on all summer long. At first it really bothered me, but later on, I figured that I was guilty of the same shameful action towards others. One fellow,7 or 8 years old, I called ‘Monkey-face.’  To this day, I don’t know why I did so, for we were great pals. Then it dawned on me, it’s just what kids do, and it don’t mean ‘nuttin.’ All this was, was teasing and being a recipient only made me stronger. I learned at a very young age the difference between teasing and something that was hateful and derisive.  I was always extremely skinny at that young age. Mom would have me wear a belt  and suspenders in conjunction as an added safeguard as to keep it seemly. This guise attributed to my being called ‘Joker’ as well as anything else. All this passed and was OK with me for later on they called me ‘Big Jim.’  I liked that!

In high school I was known as ‘four eyes’ for the first couple of years. I guess because of my wearing specs. Since my last name is pronounced ‘four’, a good friend started calling me ‘five.’  That stuck.  While in the Air Force, I was called just about anything you could think of, most of which were contemptible. One such name was ‘grandpa’ because I was 22 at the time. Those names meant nuttin, for my early training had toughened my hide. After separation from the USAF and starting in the civilian work force once again, the name calling changed to a more sophisticated flavor.  Hey you, – hey big guy, – hey newbie, and yes I mean you, after a finger point, and a lot of stuff not worth bringing up. Most of this name calling accrued because the boss and other workers never bothered to learn my name.  Oh well, such is life.

One particular place of employment required of my young body was to scale cat-walk steps many and multiple times during my appointed shift. Once when reaching the top of that wicked cat-walk, I found myself in need of a breath or two. Upon descending, I went to the floor scales to see what I weighed. I was strong and active and thought myself in good physical condition, but to my amazement, my adipose sludge was up to 204 pounds.  This of course was my wife’s fault for being such an excellent cook.  She always packed the lunch box with distinction, let alone wonderful meals at home.  I immediately started a restrictive diet.

After losing 30 pounds in 29 days, my name calling name became ‘Bones.’  The crew of individuals with whom I worked called me ‘skinny-minnie’ also.

All or any derogatory name calling that came my way was singular in nature or short lived. Those names were always put forth in anger or from misunderstanding.

Then came —- Joe and Stan!

Those two fellas, on the old ‘Home Improvement Show’, started something permanent as far as name calling is concerned.  The name ‘Spooky-Jim’ was born out of their mouths during one of their broadcasts.  I’ve never been the same afterwards.  The name is now tattooed permanently to my daily life.  So be it !