It dawned on me the other day I might need one of those makeovers. You know, a brand-new-me type of thing.
A good start might be retiring my Greatest Hits of Eric Carmen, Rod Stewart and Kenny Rogers CDs and replacing them with a little Katy Perry and One Direction. I'm told all the cool kids listen to them nowadays.
I'll also need to learn how to do things like use Netflix, take selfies and attach pictures to emails.
The bottom line: I'm going to need an entirely new persona, and that all starts with a particular type of attitude. A major part of this new attitude would be a nickname or an alter ego.
The best I could come up with were tags like "Stubby," "Lefty" or "Scooter," so I employed son Geoff and daughter Kaysi to help with this project. Their suggestions for nicknames and alter egos for their soon-to-be-too-cool dad included:
º Swaggy E: This one might be a little over the top. I would have to greet people on the street with a nod of the head and "Whassup?" Actually, I'm told the proper phrasing is simply, " 'Sup?"
º The Big Dirty: An obvious reference to my affection for dirt-track racing at Quincy Raceways. I like it. A lot.
º Mr. Write: A great play on words. Props to Geoff for this one.
º Big Whig: I'm not sure, but I think this was a reference to my waistline. Kids can be cruel.
º Thick Daddy: No ifs, ands or buts about this one, a definite jab at my calorie intake. Not funny, kids.
º Stevie Donut: While appropriate, Swaggy E thinks he has heard this one before. (Yeah, I think I'm really starting to like that Swaggy E reference.)
º Old School: This might actually be the most appropriate, not to mention one I could live with quite comfortably. Instead of a makeover, I could simply embrace what is really me.
I could keep my Rod Stewart CDs, go to the basement and see whether any of my bell-bottom blue jeans are left from the 1970s and reintroduce today's world of sophisticated gamers to "Pong." I could be so over-the-top retro it would actually be cool.
While relaxing the other night in the mancave, I was sitting in front of my computer pondering these nickname choices when one of the grandkids walked in and tapped me on the back.
"Grandpa, I need a 'nack," she said. (She has a little trouble with words that begin with an "s," but she has no trouble knowing where to go for snacks.)
That's when it dawned me. The light bulb came on over my head.
While I could see myself walking down Maine Street and someone like Steve Looten yelling out the window of the Western Catholic Union building, "Hey! Swaggy E!," I'm not sure that is really me.
Sure, it would be nice to walk into a John Wood Community College board meeting and have Tracy Orne shout out, " 'Sup, Big Whig?"
But the bottom line is I don't want to replace Eric Carmen with Beyonce, and I can't really imagine saying " 'Sup?" to every passer-by.
As far as nicknames are concerned, the one that sounds the best is simply "Grandpa."
Or maybe "Grandpa Swaggy E."