The origin of a nickname is often based on a physical characteristic or something a person said or did as a child. My father got his nickname, Pug, as a small boy when someone asked him about his political views and he declared himself a “Puglican.” That must be a branch of the Bird Party because most of the candidates Dad voted for were real bird-brains.
Growing up, Clifford lived next door—a half a mile a way. We were inseparable as youths. Due to his snow-white hair, Dad dubbed him “Cotton Top.” As Clifford grew older, the boys at school chopped his name into two syllables and pronounced it Cliff-turd. Teachers deemed this moniker inappropriate for public enunciation so the nickname counsel held a short meeting and came up with “Dirty Bird.” One of our more sophisticated classmates felt the name was too crude and redneck and offered the aesthetically pleasing sobriquet (thank you Warren Zevon), “Filthy Fowl.” We loved it!
Speaking of names, the facilitator of Friday Flash Fiction has more handles than a hotel full of truck drivers at a CB Radio convention. Often imitated, but never duplicated, the world’s greatest cat herder, Wandean “Backscratcher” Wisoff-Fields. To learn how to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.
This week there has been a lot of squawking about the United States government shutting down. Let’s examine how it affected some of America’s feathered citizens.
Bald Eagle: I’ve been America’s symbol of freedom for over 200 years, now I’m classified as “non-essential.” That’s a real slap across the beak.
Dove: Our country has been at war this entire century. I can’t remember the last time I even saw an olive branch. Thank God they haven’t cut Seed Stamps.
Pigeon: When the government shuts down we shouldn’t have to pay taxes. I work second shift defacing statues in New York City. For a while, I was sleeping under a window air conditioner on the Upper West Side until some lady started posting pictures of me on her blog—probably an IRS employee. Maybe now I’ll get some sleep.