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Over the years, I’ve made peace with the litany of strange looks I get on a daily basis.

You already know about my stint trying to dress like a business puppy ( and today I was told, “You look like Santa!” Which was only fair. Yes, I waxed my circus beard this weekend, but I was also wearing all red atop black boots and carrying around a sack of toys.

Sometimes I get funny stares when more food ends up in my hair than in my mouth.

But lately, the looks haven’t been so much about outfits or what doesn’t make it into my mouth — more so, it’s been about what makes it out of my mouth. I think it’s the nonstop barrage of nicknames.

People turn in horror when my girlfriends and I spot each other at the bar, and scream “BITCHES!” with delight. What can I say? It’s always great to see Maverick, Goose, IceMan… really, the whole gang, and I want to shout my love.

Nicknames have always been a bit of a thing with me. If somebody studied what comes out of my mouth like a gorilla linguist studies monkey ASL, they’d be able to tell how I felt about the person based solely on what I call them. At least that’s the theory I’m tossin’ at you right now….

If I don’t know you but you wield power over my Comcast bill, my sandwich, or my drivers’ license, I might call you “hon.”

If you are my new friend, I’ll immediately begin calling you by your last name, or adding a little sauce to your first name — whichever seems cooler to me and despite any protests from you. *Exception: one of my oldest friends refused to respond to any nickname. I tried everything, even suggesting at one point that perhaps I could just call her by another normal name, like Stephanie. No dice. She also refuses to high five. Outside of that, we’re a match made in heaven.

If I don’t remember your name, but know we’ll be interacting a lot in the future, I will probably call you “Guy” or “Lady.” This works like a damn charm at work.

If I don’t remember your name but like you, or do remember your name but haven’t yet come up with a nickname I love yet, I might call you “misterman,” “sweetcheeks,” or “Lothar of the Hill People.”

If you are a she-style bestie, I will call you “little ladycakes” or “bitch.”

If you are a he-style bestie, I will call you “little ladycakes” or “bitch.” (Just kiddin’, guys.)

If I hate your guts, I might call you “hon.”

If I think yer swell, I might call you “hon.”

Okay, no, you’re right. There’s no rhyme or reason here, Jane Goodall. Basically if you’re a human in my eyeline, you’re getting a nickname.

Why I feel compelled to call everyone something their parents didn’t plan for is beyond me. Worse, I’m a total dick when it comes to nicknames coming this direction. “Jeanine-y Wieney” was funny for about ten seconds in school. “Haha! Good one!” I said. Then I punched Christy Piss-ty in the face. Now who’s getting the weird looks?

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