FanPost

What's in a name?


Over on the OT Fanpost about how this place is too OT, a small sub-thread evolved regarding the origins of MCC usernames. Well, the truth is that someone said that my name reminded them of Captain Crunch cereal and I responded by saying that the true origins of my name were quite complicated and that someday I would do a Fanpost on it. Well today is that day. I will go on and on now for a few paragraphs (maybe more?) about how I got my name. It will be interesting to pretty much nobody, but then I hope there is a long discussion of how other MCC users got their names. I am particularly interested in this "Grant" one.
 

 

The Story of Captain Roderigo

 

Although not a native, I spent my formative years in Baltimore. I went off to college and returned as a medical student at the ripe and mature age of 22. It was a strange dynamic because I was of two worlds. My high school friends were of the drink as many pitchers of beer in three minutes as you can variety. Don’t get me wrong, some or even many of them were very accomplished, but their sense of intellectualism involved discussions of how the National Bohemian (Natty Boh to the cognoscenti) label came to be. My medical school friends were ever so slightly different. Many had never had a beer. In fact, an astonishing number of my classmates were still virgins when they came to medical school. I do not say this with any malice – just shock that a 22-25 year-old could graduate from college in the early 1990’s without having sex. Hell, one of the first things I saw when I got to college was a couple having sex right in the (on the?) parking lot as we pulled in.

 

So in reality, I was a person not of two worlds, but of one world that was far from either of these other two worlds. Luckily, there were a few others like me. I very quickly figured out that the occupants of this small other-world could be defined by the fact that we somehow escaped the debauchery of our high school and college lives enough to at least put together a reasonable academic record. But we had also been raised in that world of debauchery and deep down wanted to carry it on at least in a modified and perhaps slightly more cerebral way. One of the things that unified us, but did not define us was that we would occasionally seek an escape from the rigors of medical school with a little harmless dope smoking. Yes, I know it will come as a complete shock that future leaders of American medicine would partake in illegal drug use, but it really should not.

 

One of our favorite activities was to get together after a big exam. I should digress here and mention that back in 1991, medical school was not what medical school is like today. We had class beginning at 9AM every day and going straight through until 5PM with the exception of Wednesday afternoon when we were excused at 1PM. This meant that in order to eat dinner and even think about exercising, one could not sit down to study until at least 8PM. In general, I would say that the average studying requirement was about 3-4 hours a night, so it is not hard to see how one might fall behind quickly and easily. This inevitably led to the cycle of doing nothing at all but studying for the week leading up to a test followed by at least a week of recovery – which meant that you were hopelessly behind for the next exam already. By December or January, we all realized that it was simply not worth fighting gravity so we saw the post-exam phase as a great opportunity to party. But again, this was geek-partying.  Typically, we would celebrate by gathering in my apartment to play the latest version of a sports game on the ultra-modern Sega Genesis. We all had a passing interest in golf, and at the time, the golf games were at least quasi-realistic depending on what state of mind we were in. So we spent a great deal of time playing video golf on the Sega. This became a rather involved and serious thing. In order to play, one had to have a screen name. One afternoon, we mutually decided that our screen names would have to at least somewhat resemble the name of an actual golfer. For example, my real name begins with "E" so I took the golfer Chi Chi Rodriguez and made my Sega golf video handle name, "E.E. Roderiguez".

 

Around the same time, one of our group got very interested in Shakespeare. He did not have a TV, but he loved Shakespeare. So he went to the library and took out a Books on Tape version of Othello probably with Sir Laurence Olivier as Othello. This friend was and remains wonderfully quirky and one of the most interesting human beings I have ever known. He would spend hours in the tub listening to his Shakespeare tapes. Well, one day after a particularly brutal exam, we all gathered in my apartment to begin our golf game and this friend could barely contain himself. He burst through the door literally singing, "Rooodereeeeego" in an overly stereotyped British Accent. He said it over and over again, "Rooodereeeeego, Rooodereeeeego, Rooodereeeeego, Rooodereeeeego." We immediately knew what had happened and from that moment forward, my video golf handle morphed from "E.E. Roderiguez" to "Rooodereeeeego".

 

I should interject here that I warned you that this would be long and uninteresting, and there is a large part of me that wonders what the hell I am still doing writing it, but at this point, I have committed to it, and I am (thankfully) almost done.

 

When I moved to San Francisco in the late 1990’s, what little free time I had I spent either watching baseball or skiing in Tahoe. Back then, the wireless walkie-talkies were all the rage and those of us in my ski cabin all had them. Once again, we all needed handles, and "Rooodereeeeego" was clearly not amenable to the frozen walkie-talkie dialect, so I chose to change it to "Captain Roderigo" and eventually simply "Captain". Don’t ask how that happened. It is really something I still do not understand, but it became my handle, and it has stuck. So now, anytime I venture into a world where I need a handle, I am simply known as "Captain" or in MCC parlance "capn".

 

I will stop there. I have clearly already said way too much, but for the three of you who have read the whole thing, now is your chance to tell us about how you got your names. For the rest of you, feel free to discuss the relative merits and demerits of scrambling eggs versus cooking them over-easy.

This FanPost is reader-generated, and it does not necessarily reflect the views of McCovey Chronicles. If the author uses filler to achieve the minimum word requirement, a moderator may edit the FanPost for his or her own amusement.

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