I made a decision many years ago to only call people by the name they gave me – unless of course I gave them a nickname. This was the result of the many nicknames, some not so nice, I was given through the years. Here is a short list of some of them. It would take an entire book to reproduce them all.

Jolly Green Giant – At 10 lbs 1 oz, I was one of the biggest bundles of joy to ever hit Good Shepherd Medical Center at the time of my birth. The nurses gave me this name and told my parents that all I needed was a social security number and a pair of overalls and I could go right to work.

Harry — Harry Carey — Scary Harry — Harry Monster – And every other word combination that rhymes with Harry.

Woody — Woodrow — Woody Woodpecker – and a hundred other variations created from my last name.

Big H — Big Boy — Big Man — Gentle Giant — Andre — Too Tall – and many other derivatives based on basketball/football performance and my size.

Lonesome Stranger – By the coach of my first church basketball team. I would be wide open under the goal, but the older kids wouldn’t pass it to me. They just wanted me for my size.

Harrison Ford? – It wasn’t that funny the 1st time, nor the 10,000th time I heard it — at least now I have the come back line: “Bigger, better, uncut!”

The World’s Tallest Dishwasher! – Given by one of the basketball players at my first college during a horrible semester where the only job I could get was washing dishes in the school cafeteria. He even drew a great picture of me washing dishes — well at least from the chest down.

Big Jello – An elementary school tag that thankfully died quickly with my incredible growth spurt.

Viking King — Thor – Names given to me by my fraternity brothers while tackling and removing street signs for a homecoming prank against a rival school.

Zeta Beau King – As a big brother to a sorority, I received this title for service above and beyond the call of duty — get your mind out of the gutter!

4 Guys With Weed – For a variety show, I performed with this group that featured myself and four friends – one with the last name Weed. This went over really well at the Christian University I attended at the time.

And one of my all time favorites:

I sat through a series of all day interviews where everyone asked the same lame questions such as “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” and “What is your greatest weakness?” etc etc. I finally reached the top person in the interview chain. When she started in with the same stupid questions, I couldn’t take it any longer. Besides, I had already received a job offer that I had accepted the day before. She asked, “How would your friends describe you?” After a short pause I said,

“6’5″, blond-haired, blue-eyed, Aryan stud.”

Needless to say the interview abruptly ended. But hey, she asked!

Originally published May 2006.