The top of my dog’s head smells pretty good this week. This is because my wife, the exquisitely monikered Mrs. Kelp, has been spending plenty of time brushing and grooming the entire dog, to the point where some of it (in this case, the very top of the head) doesn’t smell too bad, which is a pleasant change of pace. Just goes to show the kind of thing you can accomplish when you put your mind to it.
Seeing as it has been too hot lately to think or live or breathe, and also seeing as my first choice replacement for a normal real life activity (i.e. trying to get the new sprinkler to rotate properly) has ended tragically (I broke it), I have decided to enter an exciting new phase of my dotterage in which I invent new nicknames for everyone. C’mon, kids! It’ll be fun!
First and most importantly (because it is urgent for me to find a nickname for myself that I’m comfy with before someone comes up with one that I hate and get stuck with forever, like “Fatso”, “Nancy Boy”, “Thunder Thighs”, “Mr. Twister”, or “Fatso”), I hope that in the future you will all give serious consideration to the idea of addressing me as “Jocko”. I know this might seem like kind of a big change -after all, my regular name, “Thurston”, does have quite a different sort of feeling to it -but I’m hopeful that with the passage of time eventually “Jocko” will be adopted by all with great goodwill, and perhaps someday change my personality completely.
By the way, some of you may wonder how I happened to settle on “Jocko” in particular; basically, it was on a whim. Now that I have it, though, I am already starting to change into someone who is smaller and more wirey and has a cup.
I am going to call Mrs. Kelp -whose real name, of course, is “Mrs. Kelp” – “Juney”, partly of course for the alliteration (Jocko ‘n Juney), and partly because it’s a month I like. I haven’t told her this yet, because sometimes I find it helpful to get someone in a more expansive mood (or, better yet, drunk) before announcing their new nickname, and because she’s still mad at me about breaking the sprinkler.
Our dogs, Ramona, Weasel, and Turbo, will now be called “Buster”, “Horace”, and “B.J.”. The livestock will still be called “the livestock” -after all, even I still have better things to do than to go around re-naming horses and donkeys. Our cat, Helen, is rarely called in the first place -who calls a cat? -but if I absolutely need to call it for some reason, I’m going to call it “Jeff”.
Along the same lines, I have decided to start calling my editor, whose name is Joe, “Bill”. I had at first considered something more fanciful, like “Louie”, “Little Sparrow”, or “Montana Mike”, but eventually decided on “Bill” because it was shorter, more austere, and generally more Joe-like; after all, I have to work here. Likewise, I have decided to change the name of the newspaper from the Cape Codder to “the Herald Tribune”, which is a perfectly good newspaper name that no one’s using much lately. The column itself will of course be called “Jocko on Kape”.
Let’s get back to music! A couple of weeks ago I happened to see the New York City band Sputnik open for somebody (I don’t remember who) at some bar somewhere (I don’t remember where.) Their drummer, whose real name is Nigel but whom I now call “Mr. Twister”, had forgotten or mis-placed his drums (a fairly common occurrence amongst drummers) and ended up playing baby stool for the whole set.
I felt bad for him -after all, the band had driven a long way and were excited about making their cape debut, and a baby stool is much less magnificent in both sound and appearance than a drum kit. Still, I had to admire the panache with which he attacked this alternate instrument -if there’s any bands out there looking for a really wicked baby stoolist, well, just give us a call here at the Herald. Just ask for Jocko.