How we nearly got busted

It’s no secret that Kelly and I have nicknames for virtually everyone in class. I should, right now, take the blame for most of this. I have nicknames for virtually everyone in my life — Boo, Peanut, Nolie Bugs, Pudding Pop, the Stink . . . and that’s just my family.

So last night at Grumpy’s when we were chatting about class and workshops and what have you, I explained for the 938,193rd time why I call Vonnegut, Vonnegut. Then we talked about Dead on Page 12 (because her story had someone turn up dead on page 12 of a 13 page story, a definite no no), and the Graduate (who is SO cute, and Kelly totally asked to Grumpy’s, though he declined).

The evening goes on and we talk about the books we’re reading and how much I don’t care for Nell Freudenberger, Jhumpa Lahiri, or Jonathan Lethem’s Fortress of Solitude, and all the other nerdy things writers like to talk about (like writing a story in first person present tense).

As the first part of the evening winds down, The Hottie gets up to leave and before he exits the stage (that’s what I call the area of Grumpy’s we were sitting at because it’s up a couple of stairs), he turns to us and says something to the effect of “Will you tell me my nickname when I get one? Or do you have to wait to read my story to give me one?”

“What makes you think you don’t already have one?” Kelly asks.

And I blush. After he left, I turned to Kelly. “I was one beer away from telling him his name.”

She laughed. “I’d have come over the table at you.”

“Oh,” I said. “And I would have totally sold you down the river. I’d have been all ‘Kelly calls you The Hottie’.”

Because I’m evil like that.

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