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March 31st, 2004


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02:50 am - THE STORY OF SPATCH
I've had this asked several times recently so I might as well post it again and try to get the definitive story out and about because it's, well, one of those favorite bedtime stories and since I'm up far past mine, I might as well tell it again. And this time, I have the benefit of being able to tell the story sober.

So picture it: Sicily, 1917. In high school I co-founded and ran a comedy troupe called SPATULA TONIGHT! (The ! on the end was in the name.) It was so named because one of our first sketches performed onstage was a piece written by me and my friend Tom Wills, entitled "Dream of the Spatula King." In it, a bored librarian admits that what he really wanted to be in life was a chef in a greasy spoon diner. The sketch ends with a rousing parody of "Comedy Tonight" only instead of comedy we offered, well, a spatula. ("Eggbeater tomorrow -- spatula tonight!") It's a great song and blessed with a catchy, albeit totally ganked, melody.

So then we fast-forward to my freshman year at UMass where I was given my FIRST-EVER EMAIL ADDRESS EVER that wasn't a lousy bunch of random letters and numbers jumbled altogether. When it came time to pick my username, all the good combinations of my first and last names were taken, so the admin said "Well, pick the first word that comes to mind." So I blurted out -- spatula.

Little did I realize how completely and thoroughly this would shape my eventual online persona. Back then I was known to the MU* communities as either RiffRaff or Beckett, depending on the MU*. Nowadays I look at those names and they seem so foreign to me. Weird, eh? I don't think I've run into anybody who knew me as Beckett in years.

Anyway, a little while later in the winter of '93 I made the acquaintance of Manda Jost, another student at UMass. I don't think I ever actually met her in person, but she randomly talked me one evening (I think the username caught her attention) and we struck up some great conversations. She took to calling me Spatch as it was short for spatula, and I thought it a truly kicky kind of name, so it stuck. Then she went to South America and I never heard from her again. Sniff...

On Usenet, the "tv's" part was added in honor of both "tv's Frank" from Mystery Science Theater 3000 (yes, the "tv's" is always lowercase) and the fact that I was working in public access at the time. "derspatchel" is, then, a nickname-of-a-nickname (derivative, perhaps?) and used here in LJ because the person who took spatch as a username either hasn't updated since 2001 or went friends-only.

So I think that's the definitive version of How Der Spatchel Got His Name.

What's the story behind yours?

(22 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:mschlock
Date:March 31st, 2004 12:27 am (UTC)
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You must be sick of people singing the Spatula City theme song to your bad self.

I admit it: in college I gave my first love an engraved stainless steel spatula on Valentine's Day. O lost -- never be able to use that again. Drat.

Oh, as for my username, it is rather uncreatively a combination of my first initial and the first part of my last name. Yes, I come from a long line of Schlockers. Yes, we've heard the jokes...
[User Picture]
From:tyopsqueene
Date:March 31st, 2004 12:35 am (UTC)
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See, I just wish I had a story as good as that for mine. But I don't. "Angel Fish" was jsut, honestly, the firs tthing that popped into my head when I needed to create an online nick. And tyopqueene is because I can't type for toffee. How uncreative.

Then again, I think I have more derivative nicknames than anyone else: fishy fidhy fishfish fidhfidh queene 'teh prettiest' etc.
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From:phonemonkey
Date:March 31st, 2004 12:59 am (UTC)
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the person who took spatch as a username either hasn't updated since 2001 or went friends-only.

Yep, same with fernanda which is why I used phonemonkey. Fernanda the Permatemp was the protagonist of a cartoon strip I used to draw for my coworkers at Amex, and I originally ganked the name from One Hundred Years of Solitude because it sounds pretty. Phone-monkey was my first ever title on Brunchma, bestowed by Clickie.
[User Picture]
From:joenotcharles
Date:March 31st, 2004 05:33 am (UTC)
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My nick is explained here. Not incredibly amusing, unless you were there.
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From:doctor_sentence
Date:March 31st, 2004 07:00 am (UTC)
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A school friend wrote it in a Christmas card to me.

As for my other online identities:
Mr Broken Password speaks for itself.
Mc Fishey and Gepu was a title I was given to use in a 'write a short piece of fiction in the style of Ivor Cutler' exercise.
Lord Cavity was the blithering upper-class nutter I played on the first Better Than One album.
Llama Roddy is a partial anagram of my RL name.
Cobb Webb was an annoying but brilliant character in several unfinished stories of mine back in the 1980s.
Number Eleven was partly inspired by 'The Prisoner' and partly the consequence of a peculiar series of events involving haiku poetry, a Canadian student, and some cut-up newspapers.
[User Picture]
From:annilita
Date:March 31st, 2004 07:06 am (UTC)
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I had never had a knickname besides "Annie" while I was growing up, so when it became time to pick a name for a talker when I was in college and first learned about them, I was Songbird. It came from the first song I did in a recital when I was taking voice lessons. Fleetwood Mac.

Then after breaking up with a guy I met online and ended up dating for 2 years, I wanted to change my name and just ignore the fact that he ever happened. So, my former roomie had dubbed three of us Jamilita, Casilita, and Annilita. I don't know why, she just did. It stuck. I started using it instead.

Incidentally, I logged on to one of the old talkers a few months ago under the name Songbird and one of the users FLIPPED OUT because I was "back". Turns out he had been logging on DAILY looking for me for 7 YEARS. I could not even remember who he was. Made me happy that I had changed my name and gone away... sheesh... He probably would have hunted me down and killed me in my sleep. I haven't been back on talkers again since then.
From:dcart
Date:March 31st, 2004 07:07 am (UTC)
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Mine was sheer laziness. It was not, as so many people have assssssssumed over the years any reference to descartes (not that I'm not something of a fan of his legacy). I was assigned this username on a beta network thing at a job (first letter of first name, first four letters of last name). It was easy to remember. I kept it.

Prior to that, I'd had quite a few usernames on various systems. The one I was still most likely to use prior to dcart was LSDave, partly because at one brief period in my life people had taken to calling me "acid dave" to distinguish me from other daves they knew.
[User Picture]
From:muffyjo
Date:March 31st, 2004 07:50 am (UTC)

1917?

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Um, you were in high school in 1917? I mean, why did you wait so long to go to college? And DAMN! you look mighty fine for your age!

Me, I threw up on my grandfather when I was 6 days old as he bounced me up and down on his knee saying "Little Miss Muffett" and thus a nickname was born. That plus my given name, and you have me! Ok, the story is a little longer, but better told than written.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:lexinatrix
Date:March 31st, 2004 09:21 am (UTC)

What's in a name?

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I met you at the Smith screening of Rocky Horror (outside, even). I believe tikva introduced you as Spatch. It took awhile before I discovered your mild-mannered real name.

I'm now known by most of my local friends as Lex, derived from my first name. Alexandra > Alex > Lex.

My LJ username comes from the fact that lex was taken (and, apparently abandoned), as were several derivations. So, I used a username I made up for Yahoo!: 'lexinatrix' - which is pronouncable and fitting with my bitchyface self. I also like the presence of more than one 'x' in the username.
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From:pecosy
Date:March 31st, 2004 09:30 am (UTC)
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I owe it all to Buckaroo Banzai. *sigh*
Pecos was talked about (briefly) but never seen in the film, which made sense for an online handle. I used the lowercase because I thought it looked more feminine, but alas I share the fate of Buckaroo's Pecos in that most people assume I am in possession of dangly bits.

The y at the end is because someone already had pecos on lj.
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From:nolly
Date:March 31st, 2004 10:09 am (UTC)
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Back in the dark ages, when I was but a wee junior in high school, one of my friends got me on to ISCABBS, which we all thought was the greatest place on the 'net. Maybe it was, then, before the queue, and the clients, and everything. But I digress. I needed a handle, of course. I was at the height of my Pern fandom, and identified with the character Menolly. After all, we were both young women, far from home, studying in male-dominated fields.

At some point, one of my friends on ISCA, who I later lost touch with, and have now reconnected with on LJ, started greeting me as "'Nolly!". And when I got to LJ, like so many about, "menolly" was taken, by someone who didn't seem to be using it. (It's a British chick who has a web page cataloging the neckties worn my Clark Kent on Lois and Clark -- darkwombatdude sent me a link to the site about a week before I got on LJ, and I recognized her address.)

So, "nolly" it was, and now a good many of my friends address me as Nolly offline, as well. I usually put "Menolly" on my badges at cons, because my first name is too common, so many people don't know it.
[User Picture]
From:voivod
Date:March 31st, 2004 10:56 am (UTC)

Yell Oh Ink Leash.

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Iced ill ream ember quen ewee whirr /\//-//\/\.

Tomb Whales nuw haste at leash to keeds. Eyes aww ham en tha DVDen der otter dai. Has lite all dawt her ist fairy talk active.

Askew mast shower lee know, Aye wuz Ye Low Led Wet Her awn thee loco al BB Ess comune is titty. Whine Eye frost lagged own tue a Bibi Ass (witch juanis lawst en de annuals uff thyme), dat worst das ongg plai ink urn thee stair oreo. Late her eet wass short end two jest Led.

Quenn Aye maid mite faust vent yours own too El Eet B'B-Ses (ViSiON-HeX!), Eye nooo thawt Ai wood knead a match moore bard-arsed zound ding naime. A gayne Ei tarned tuo de steario. Venn laid her came Eye Scabs. Tan jears lustre, Lice Jour Nile.

Wiff dee axe epson erf pee-er tow pair gnat werks und tech know reel laided sights, whirr aim Ult Ravioli Vod, thaws ist der naime eye jews.
[User Picture]
From:reveritas
Date:March 31st, 2004 02:49 pm (UTC)

Re: Yell Oh Ink Leash.

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dude.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:April 1st, 2004 07:09 pm (UTC)

Re: Yell Oh Ink Leash.

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The thing is, I read that perfectly.
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From:isquiesque
Date:March 31st, 2004 11:16 am (UTC)
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Mine's vaguely amusing, particularly if you like Scrabble: click here for the isquiesqueness to be revealed.
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From:saint_buddha
Date:March 31st, 2004 01:44 pm (UTC)
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I choose the name Fifteen Minutes when I logged onto ISCA in 1993. At time, I was infatuated with Danger Mouse but that name was taken and for some reason, I was also infatuated with Andy Warhol, hence Fifteen Minutes. I had the Yahoo account of fifteen when Yahoo was first developing their more-than-a-search-engine but I couldn't remember the password and for some reason I didn't feel like asking for it to be renewed or whatever so I created the Yahoo account of saint_buddha. I recently read that Buddha was actually a saint of the Catholic Church for a couple hundred years before the Vatican realize that the guy actually created another religion. This happened when the Catholic Church was canonizing everyone based on word of mouth. Initially, I created this LJ account to post pictures of my baby so I wouldn't have to send fifty million e-mails to everyone but I'm too lazy to do even that and LJ doesn't seem to be a good venue for that. I haven't decided what to do with my account.
[User Picture]
From:wahhappen
Date:April 1st, 2004 01:02 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]
From:rhinoplastique
Date:March 31st, 2004 04:40 pm (UTC)
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It was either this or ottomandingo.
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From:seph
Date:March 31st, 2004 05:54 pm (UTC)
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This is a nickname given to me by my girlfriend. It's short for Joseph, a name which is neither mine nor a name that I particularly like in any fashion. It stuck. I'd use it universally, but I have an underbite and it's difficult for me to pronounce.
[User Picture]
From:acsumama
Date:March 31st, 2004 09:29 pm (UTC)
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When I signed up for AIM, the name I wanted -- Pachacutec, one of the Inca emperors, whose name means "He who turns the world on its head." But some loser who never signs on had taken it. So I went with the name of the Inca Potato God(dess).
[User Picture]
From:rosalux
Date:April 1st, 2004 11:22 am (UTC)
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Having been named Jennifer in 1974, I've wanted to change my name since the first time I went to school.

"Jenny?" The teacher said. "How sweet! You're our 3rd Jenny! And here are Tiffany and Chrissy and Summer! I'm sure you'll all get along."

So now my screen name is Rosalux, after Rosa Luxemburg, and I'm changing my real-life name to Rosa, also.

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