So I have a bit of a funny story to tell. This story requires a bit of background information on both my father (pictured above), and a boy on whom I had a crush when I was in 6th and 7th grades.
My father is one of those fortunate souls blessed with the ability to swear fluently and creatively. He also has a gift of bestowing hilarious, slightly mean, but very apt nicknames. For example, Mum is always referred to as The Commander, although to her face, Dad calls her Bunky. (Short for “bunkmate”. Mum calls him Hunky. Together they are Bunky and Hunky, and it would be absolutely gag-inducing if it weren’t kind of adorable.) My Halmeoni is WWW, or “Wicked Witch of the West”. My particular favourite pertains to an old frat brother of my father’s, a pompous man named Rex, who signed all of his emails with The Man Who Would Be Rex and whom my dad called Pencilneck.
This anecdote is not about my father.
When I was in 6th grade, there was a boy I liked. He had blond hair, blue eyes, and was an absolute pain in the ass. He flat-tired me (stepped on the backs of my shoes), he stole my pens, he put things in my hair, and cheated off my algebra homework. Science classes were an excuse for our legs to wrestle beneath the desks.
“You’re so smart!” he’d say.
“And you’re really annoying!” I’d shoot back.
Which is 6th grade speak for I really, really like you.
Because I am terrible at hiding my emotions, my father soon sussed out that this boy was the object of my 11-year-old affections.
“Him?” he said, lifting a skeptical brow. (Dad is really good at lifting one brow. I used to practice in front of a mirror so I could lift mine just like him. I am also really good at the skeptical brow now.) “He’s such a dweeb!”
And thereafter, the Object of My 11-Year-Old Affections was known as Chicken Legs around my house.
Now, this boy (despite the constant cheating off my algebra homework) grew up to be a Navy Seal. He’s a real credit, not only to our nation, but to his family, his wife, Mrs. Dorsey the 6th grade teacher, and even to me (because I’m sure my correct math answers got him into his prestigious boys’ high school). The morning after we learned Osama Bin Laden had been killed by a black ops Navy Seal team, my father emailed me with a single line.
Was Chicken Legs in the unit that got Osama?