OPINION: Friends use nicknames to create punch lines

Arnav Damodhar  | Staff Writer


I have always been that guy.

The one in a friend group that’s always outspoken. The one that makes the entire class laugh. The one that always becomes the punch line.

My friends and I joke and joke until, before I’ve realized it, I have developed a new nickname that follows me to this day.

When my friends talked about Marshawn Lynch in homeroom, I looked at them in a perplexed manner. When one of them realized I had no idea who he was, my friend said, “How do you not know Marshawn Lynch? Take a step out of your mole hole for once.”

Laughter consumed the room, and I laughed with them. But to this day, I still don’t who Marshawn Lynch is. In science class, when the label answer to a problem was five moles, a friend crossed out the label mole and replaced it with my name, and amusingly, I turned the paper in to my teacher.

For an English humor project, I portrayed comical TV idol Ellen. Surprisingly, I was able to pull off her dance moves, imitate her accent, and shimmie. When that video was played on the projector screen, my classmates and my teacher couldn’t stop laughing. In fact, I was able to do it so well that our group received a 100 percent. I am not sure whether that’s something to be proud of. That video soon went viral among friends. In fact, someone photoshopped Ellen’s face on my body, and that picture still hangs above the wall on my desk.

Last year, I received a superlative for being “Most Reptilian” and most likely to be cast in Jurassic World. Apparently my tall neck and my slander arms almost look like that of a T-Rex. Everyone can imagine me bending my elbows, bringing them back next to my chest and frantically shaking my hands as if I were about to claw something like a dinosaur.

Every time someone addresses me by one of these names, I don’t get mad or annoyed–I embrace it. There’s a special connection and a deep meaning behind each one of those names. Yet the connection goes beyond that: It’s not just the names that I relate to but the bond that exists between me and everyone who calls me by that name.

But when my friends stop laughing, I am not a mole, Ellen, or even a T-Rex. I’m Arnie D.