Sep 30, 2015

Why My Nickname is Boomer, Reasons #1 and #2

You've probably noticed that I started using the nickname Boomer for all of my autobiographical posts.

It has nothing to do with Linwood Boomer, creator of Malcolm in the Middle, the dog in the 1970s Here's Boomer, Canadian television personality Boomer Phillips, or with being a Baby Boomer.

Actually, there are three reasons.  

Warning: the third reason is dirty .

1. My Grandma Prater died when I was 7, so I don't remember much about her, except she was plump, brown, had a thick Southern accent, and a jovial sense of humor.

One day my cousin and I were roughhousing at her house, and we bumped into a bureau containing her collection of ceramic figurines.  A priceless blue jay toppled and fell to the floor with a horribly loud crash!

We were terrified.  We thought she would get a willow switch from the hill and wallop us.

But when Grandma Howard came running in from the kitchen, she wasn't mad.  She laughed.

"Why, aren't you little terrors?  I'm going to have to call you the Buster and you the Boomer.  Now run get a broom and help me clean up this mess."

After that, we called each other Buster and Boomer, but only when we were alone. They were secret names, representing a special bond between us.

Cousin Buster and I drifted apart when we grew up.  He died a few years ago.

2. When I was in fifth grade, I read a Harvey comic about a strong, powerful, and very hot guy named the Boomer.  I recently tracked it down: Wendy Witch World #44, dated June 1971.

The Boomer causes mayhem with his monumental voice.  First he yells "Boo!" like a ghost, but he discovers that he is even more powerful with "Boom!"

I wanted to be strong and powerful, too.

One day at recess we all decided to pick secret nicknames.  My boyfriend Bill was Mad Dog; Joel was Robin (Batman's sidekick); Greg was Barnabas (the vampire from Dark Shadows); David Angel was Muscles.  I was Boomer.

We went around calling ourselves Robin, Mad Dog, Muscles, Barnabas, and Boomer for months.  I demonstrated my power by sneaking up behind random people and yelling "Boom!"

Eventually most of the guys grew tired of the game, but Bill and I continued to call each other Boomer and Mad Dog until we drifted apart in junior high.

I can't print the third reason here.  It's on Tales of West Hollywood.

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