Day 20: Nicknames
When I was a baby, my parents called me "Wammes" (pronounced "VOM-mus"). This was the name of a cartoon character popular at that time, Wammes Waggel, who was a ditzy goose in the "Tom Poes" comic strip.
When I was around nine, my parents bought a vacation house in central Connecticut, on Amston Lake. My brother and I would sit on the rocks at the lake shore in front of the house late at night and do wolf-call imitations; we were pretty good at them, too, because we loved to watch the lights snap on in the houses across the lake. My brother started calling me Wolfie, and that nickname stuck for YEARS... all through high school, in fact.
But when I got to my 20s, I started becoming irritated that people didn't seem to want to learn how to pronounce my name. I'd tell them my name is Welmoed, and they'd ask, "What do people call you for short?" and I'd reply, "Welmoed." Come on, people; it's two syllables! Some people tried to stick me with the nickname "Vel", but I stomped on that pretty hard.
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