So after a week or 2 hiatus from EOD, I get the call to do more driving. And when I show up to set, my name is listed as Chris "Clutch" Conte. Stu informs me, "Did you know you're listed as "Chris 'Clutch' Conte?" "That's 'Clutch Cargo Conte' to you, pal.....and if you remember that odd cartoon, you're older than I am... :)
But this brings me to the subject of nicknames. The crew now universally addresses me as "Clutch." That same night, cruising down 495, Mike W. hit a deer, or more precisely, a deer committed suicide by attempting to halt Mike's speeding Prius (I wonder if the engine was off and he was running on battery, which is much quieter, and the deer didn't hear. Oh dear.) Pieces of deer flew everywhere. And all of us drivers were graced with the presence of a crumpled, not quite intact, can't tell which end is which deer carcass by the side of the highway for the rest of the night. Immediately after the accident, chatter on the walkie went back and forth--"Is the deer OK? What about the babies?" one concerned driver inquired. "What about the human?" some of us thought. I, for one, thought, "What about the human's car?" as I drove past and saw the front end damage. Mike calmly replied, "The deer's in deer heaven.....he's in pieces." Further chatter and concern about the nonexistent deer babies, as if he'd purposely slain Bambi himself. "Won't somebody think of the children?!?" I wonder if the level of concern would have so saturated the airwaves if he'd hit a box of cockroaches. Mike, wishing to make his presence known above the chatter, and convey that the deer was now venison, and that there were no Bambies, and that he couldn't get out of his car because the doors were now crunched shut, got on the airwaves and said, This is Mike.....the deerslayer....."
Welcome to the inner circle of those who are nicknamed.
And last night, after Al took a curb too tightly and flattened a tire, we welcomed "Blowout."
Not particularly liking that designation, maybe he should petition a change to "Firestone" or "Goodyear."
And the young gentleman whose battery went dead and needed a jump became volts, then Volta (that's the Italian scientist's name who actually discovered the concept of electric potential, and thus whose surname became a unit) but our fellow driver opted for the appellation of Tesla, 'cause he's infinitely cooler (and whose name is also an electrical unit.)
So we now have:
Clutch. Deerslayer. Blowout. Tesla.
Be grateful you haven't earned a nickname yet.