I had a nickname in High School that came from the name I was given in Spanish class. At first, I didn’t like it, but it grew on me and I accepted it. It wasn’t the name that I disliked, it was the spelling as Jaime always made me think of Jamie Lee Curtis and I felt that it was a little too feminine for me, and since the robot on the TV show Get Smart spelled his name Hymie, that seemed to be much more appropriate. The Spanish name Jaime is supposed to be pronounced as “HIE-me” and it could be used for the names Jacob or James. My Spanish teacher gave the class an assignment that we would have to break up into groups and put on a skit, where everyone spoke in Spanish. I being a Sophomore got grouped in with these two Seniors, Bill Butrico and Nelson Kissam. I had no interest in Spanish and Bill decided that he was going to have fun with this, so he wrote the skit and we met at his house and rehearsed our lines.
I only had one line and I came in at the end of the skit and I said “si” which is yes in Spanish. There was some dialog between Bill and Nelson, but I don’t remember any of their conversation, but I think they were talking about girls and I just waited for my cue. They were stuck and they needed a ride and when Bill said, “Qué vamos a hacer” which meant “What are we going to do”, that was when I walked into the classroom. When Nelson saw me, he said, “Válgame, Dios es Jaime” which translates to “Good heavens, its James” and then I said my one line to end the skit. This skit cracked up the whole class and the teacher also liked it. I have no idea how the three of us go grouped together, as Bill was an industrious student that was clearly headed for college, where I was a burnout with no ambition and Nelson was clearly from another planet. Years later I heard that Nelson climbed up a flagpole naked after taking 10 hits of LSD and he really was an odd character, so I actually believed that story.
Nelson dressed weird and everyone knew that he was weird. One day he walked into the cafeteria where I was sitting with my friends and when he saw me, he said, “Válgame, Dios es Jaime” which made all my friends look at me wondering if and how I knew this odd character. Anyway, they all started calling me Jaime after that. I didn’t start smoking pot till I was a Junior, but once I did, I started spelling my name as “High me” and then I thought it was a pretty cool nickname.
Written for Throwback Thursday which is hosted by Lauren and Maggie who alternate with this prompt and this week it is Lauren’s turn and her topic is Nicknames.