When fabled nicknames go wrong | HumorOutcasts

When fabled nicknames go wrong


Never believe your own PR.

Years ago I was married to a criminal lawyer, whose name I’ll shorten to Ken Q.  He defended impossible cases and his acquittals made headlines.  A reporter dubbed him “Hurricane Q” and methinks it went to his head.

Though of Irish background, Ken decided he wanted a “Chinese chop.”  This would be an ink stamp with his fabled nickname carved onto it.  Off to Chinatown we go, and at a curio store, Ken gives careful instruction on translating “Hurricane Q” onto the seal.

We return to pick it up and then a thought occurred to me.

“Ken, how do you know it really says Hurricane Q?”

For once the trial lawyer was wordless.

I said, “Let’s duck into this store and ask someone to translate the stamp into English.”

So I make a beeline for the Chinese man behind the counter. “Can I ask you to read something?”

I whip out the carved seal, and stamp the Chinese characters onto a piece of paper.

“What does this say?”

“Big wind.”

April 12 is Big Wind Day.  It’s a day to remember the highest wind speed ever recorded (231 m.p.h. April 12, 1934, Mount Washington Observatory), but that will never be my first thought.  Ever.

Is there a Big Wind blowing in your life?

Suzette Martinez Standring

Greetings from Suzette Martinez Standring! I write humor and lifestyle columns, and since 2007 I've been nationally syndicated for my spirituality columns with GateHouse Media, proving that God indeed has a sense of humor. I wrote The Art of Opinion Writing: Insider Secrets from Top Op-Ed Columnists (2014), which is used in university journalism courses, such as Johns Hopkins University. I also wrote The Art of Column Writing: Insider Secrets from Art Buchwald, Dave Barry, Arianna Huffington, Pete Hamill and Other Great Columnists (2008). I host a Milton (MA) cable, It's All Write With Suzette, that features guest authors and columnists. Watch episodes on youtube and vimeo.com My big love is teaching writing workshops nationally, and someday making money from all of this will approach my level of enthusiasm. It's very high so that's quite a goal. Nice to meet you! Email Suzette Standring: suzmar@comcast.net or visit www.readsuzette.com

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7 Responses to When fabled nicknames go wrong

  1. April 11, 2016 at 10:40 am

    Would a hurricane by any other name still blow as hard? A hurricane really is a big wind, it just comes down to how we market the blowing.

  2. April 11, 2016 at 3:23 am

    Great story, Suzette. That’s just why I don’t buy things like the stamp. I’ll be polite and not mention all the ways I’ve heard “Big Wind” interpreted.

  3. April 10, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    Love it!

  4. April 10, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    This has karma written all over it or stamped all over it!

  5. Kathy Minicozzi
    April 10, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    Back in the early 90s I traveled to the Far East with a touring group of opera singers. In one place we visited, we were each given a stamp with our name on it, in Chinese.

    Now you have me wondering …

  6. April 10, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    Not only a good lesson for us all, but perhaps we now know why he’s no longer your husband.

    Keep writing!

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