I am quite confident that I have set the record for the worlds fastest New Years Resolution breakage. The reason for this is twofold. First of all, my resolution was absurd, and second I was not that committed to it in the first place. What was my resolution? Well, my resolution was to be nice and pleasant to a specific individual who is quite possibly the worst human on the face of the earth (even worse than Buddhist Mike). For the purposes of this post he will be known as "The Bearded Weirdo", which in prison is a grave insult.
"The Bearded Weirdo" has a special superpower. He comes up with nicknames that not only stick, but are so good that one feels bad about themselves that they did not think of the nickname in the first place. The names are cutting, very accurate, and so funny that even some of the staff use them. An example of such a name involves a friend of mine who was released from prison over a year and a half ago. This guy is extremely successful in the tech industry, sits on a board of directors for a nonprofit, and is in extremely good shape. His moniker is "Alpha Sissy", which is like calling a fat man "Slim" or a tall dude "Shorty". In an environment where nicknames are prevalent, and most are well earned on the streets to garner fear from ones enemies, they are taken quite seriously. Like my buddy "Sea Bouy" who has a body shaped like a floating apparatus one would tie a boat to, or "Moose Head" who is a legend in his own mind.
Why am I seemingly going on a tangent? The simple answer to this question is that the jerk has now labeled me. I am forever branded with the name "P-Rick" which makes exactly zero sense until you say it fast or hear it yelled across the breezeway which I now hear multiple times a day. Inmates I do not even know come up to me now and ask why I am being called a "prick" when it is well known that I am a very nice guy. It is annoying. I suppose that is the whole point of a nickname. If you choose to believe that folks insult the ones they love, I must be on the same level as Billy Graham. Yes, I will choose to believe this. Maybe being a "P-Rick" isn't so bad after all.
By Ryan Erker
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