The favorite nickname I ever had, I gave myself.
This isn’t how it’s supposed to work. You’re supposed to earn your nickname, or at least fall into it. Stuff like 3D Waffle, Chocolate Thunder or Onion King. Sports guys have them, like Chi Chi Rodriguez, Nails (Lenny Dykstra) and Rich Garces, also known as El Guapo.
Me? In junior high, I called myself Daddy Cool.
I wasn’t even a daddy. And I probably wasn’t very cool. Although, I had a lot of hair. And wore cowboy boots to school. And had a mustache. Yeah, definitely wasn’t very cool. In fact, I’m much cooler now, with less hair, and without a mustache. Now, I’m Daddy Cool.
That’s not as cool as Wayne “Tree” Rollins, Robert “Tractor” Traylor or Harold “Pee Wee” Reese. Dennis Rodman was the Worm, Bryant Reeves was Big Country and Clyde “The Glide” Drexler was smooth.
I’m no Golden Jet (Bobby Hull) or Round Mound of Rebound (Charles Barkley).
There are nicknames, and then there are stage names … and that’s what the girls were asking about this week. Not my stage name, though. Read on.
1. What’s Lady Gaga’s real name?
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta.
That’s what Lady Gaga was born as in Yonkers, N.Y., on March 28, 1986. This coincides with my Daddy Cool era. Stefani’s agent said he coined her nickname from a Queen song, “Radio Gaga,” when the predictive text correction on his smartphone changed that to “Lady Gaga.” Stefani loved it.
Another story says the Lady Gaga name was decided upon during a marketing meeting.
If you’ve ever seen websites devoted to what comes up when autocorrect comes into play, it’s no wonder Stephani J.A. Germanotta wasn’t called something much, much worse.
2. What is a star?
I don’t know, but if you have a stage name, you’re halfway there.
It’s a clump of helium and hydrogen, which makes up 98 percent of the universe. (The other 2 percent is Lady Gaga’s hair). If you have enough mass to maintain nuclear fusion at your core, bam, you’re a star.
Of course, you need a supernova or galaxy collision to get the ball rolling.
Being a mass of gas isn’t enough, unless you’re the Round Mound of Rebound.
3. How do they pick all-star cities?
Based on nicknames, Albertville, Ala. (Fire Hydrant Capital of the World), Homer, Alaska (Halibut Capital of the World) or Pearsonville, Calif. (Hubcap Capital of the World) would be on permanent rotation.
In baseball, a committee selects the host city, so it helps if you have a new stadium.
It won’t hurt, either, if you’re known as The City Too Busy to Hate (Atlanta), Charm City (Baltimore) or Food City (Bristol, Tenn.) Oh wait, that’s just me, that last one.
4. What are calories?
Calories are what Bristol, Tenn., was built on.
A calorie is a unit of energy, both consumed and burned. There’s 195 calories in an average donut, and it takes 37 minutes of cha-cha and the Macarena to burn off that many calories. That just doesn’t seem right. It would also take 18 hours of gum-chewing to burn 200 calories.
Which is worse if your nickname is, say, the Leaning Tower of Pizza, like Charles Barkley.
5. How do basketball players jump that high?
We should ask Jumping Joe Caldwell or Darrell “Doctor Dunkenstein” Griffith.
Or maybe Air Jordan.
Full-back squatting is said to do the trick, but wearing special shoes like these or finding a pair of mysterious Air Jordans like the kid in Like Mike did seems like a faster track to jumposity, without all the strain and sweat.
Your dad dunked once – a monster two-handed throw-down in the church parking lot.
On a 6-foot rim.
Maybe that was the first sighting of Daddy Cool. Or Air Eli.
Probably there’s a better chance of the Buffet Bomber, Brown and Close to the Ground or Sir Blogsalot emerging from the shadows, though.
Not even the Fool of Food City can top that.