Wednesday, August 18, 2004


There are five common male names in English nomenclature that produce more nicknames than any other: Robert, Richard, William, Johnathan, and James. These five names and their attendant derivations are responisble for probably 25% of the male section of my high school yearbook. While each of these names is normal and passes through our lips on a daily basis with little, if any, notice, I will forever look askance at any Robert, Richard, William, Johnathan, or James who refuses to take or use a nickname. It is unacceptable. It is unco-operative. It is un-American. The one I am most suspicious of is James.

James is a haughty little bitch. His angst and hostility toward the world and toward adopting a nickname undoubtedly have roots in his childhood. At some point, probably 5th or 6th grade, James had two other James' in his class. To differentiate between them, his teacher called one Jimmy, one Jim, and one James.

Jimmy became the class-clown, doing just enough to get by and stay out of serious trouble until he turned 18, went off to a state school for college, and became a career undergrad thanks to hydroponic weed and Saved by the Bell re-runs on the Superstation.

Jim played all the sports and idolized his loser father. He was the first to successfully lie about sleeping with a hot girl from another high school. Jim drank a lot, did stupid shit, got by because his parents were loaded, and ended up doing nothing with his life

James had nowhere to turn for a distinctive male identity. So he fled into the warm embrace of his home economics teacher and her amazing apple strudel recipe. James made a lot of female friends all the way through high school and into his years as an undergrad at Vassar. His female friends bonded with him like he was one of the girls and constantly wondered aloud when some lucky girl was going to snatch him up--all the while secretly speculating as to when he would come out of the closet.

Like any American male trying to feign heterosexuality, James was at once saddened and concerned by his lack of male friends. Luckily, in the middle of his sophomore year at Vassar, James found companionship and solace in the form of Shakespeare in the Park...with other "men" who also refused to take nicknames--Phillip, Ronald, Andrew, get the picture.

Oh you don't? Well let me give you one so you know what I mean (you need to be on Friendster to check this one out):

Yeah, exactly. Shit, the man wrote a friend of mine a note that said, and I quote:

"bright cacaphony
burning into my synapse
perchance we will meet"

Are you fucking kidding me?! Combine that little gem with the progression of the very desperate, very maudlin of circumstances that ARE his life, and it's no fucking wonder James owns a cape. More often than not, he has multiple capes--one of which must be black or dark red crushed velvet.

James was the first person in his school to move from Dungeons & Dragons to playing Magic: The Gathering and owning a full deck. He was (and continues to be) a regular at every Rennaisance Fair he could get his mother to drive him to and he uses words like "damsel" and "indeed" far more often than is either acceptable or comfortable in contemporary American speech.

It's no suprise that James' speech is affected, though. He refuses to use slang or contractions. If you could see the dialogue bubbles over his head when he speaks--like in comic strips--I guaranfuckingtee you 'theater' and 'center' would be spelled with an "-re." It's like he grew up in the English countryside or the sitting room of William F. Buckley's house.

If Madonna were a man, she'd be named 'James.' And, just like someone needs to tell that pretentious, gap-toothed twat that she's FROM FUCKING DETROIT!!!, someone needs to tell James that he grew up in Orange County next door to a kid who is now the #2 Skimboarder in the world. His name is Josh...NOT FUCKING JOSHUA EITHER YOU POMPOUS FUCKING DOUCHEBAG!

My favorite part about James is the part he tries to hide. The deviant part. The dark, self-loathing part. Just because his entire wardrobe can be described as "long" and "flowing" and just because he owns a hardbound copy of Canteburry Tales IN THE ORIGINAL MIDDLE ENGLISH does not mean that the man doesn't listen exclusively to opera and industrial metal or jab safety pins through his erect penis while staring entranced at his full-sized Michael Hutchence poster and sitting on hold with Ticketmaster trying to get 4 together for the Nine Inch Nails/Marilyn Manson/Slipknot concert coming to the Staples Center this fall.

James projects this faux intellectual intensity that he desperately hopes will at once intimidate and intrigue people. The reality is it just makes him look like an idiot. Dude, it's NOT INTIMIDATING! I wouldn't approach anyone who was sitting alone in the back corner of a cafe who looked like he was trying to push out a turd! So take your Chai Latte and your Foucault reader, and take a big stinking intellectual dump on your own time. You're starting to scare the waitresses.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it scary that there are four degrees of separation between James and I on

-Paralawyer (call me Rob or Robert but never Bob)

August 18, 2004 at 1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you know this douche? Or did you just happen upon him thanks to the email he sent to your friend.

That guy is the quintessential geek of modern times.

I am also willing to bet he dresses up as Sir Lancelot at the Renaissance Fair(e) and probably enjoys going to Medieval Times dinner theater(re). Do you have those in Cali?

He probably sports the whole anthology of LOTR books and movies. That guy is a closet homo if I've ever seen one.

August 18, 2004 at 1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think George Carlin said it best:

"Fuck Tucker. Tucker sucks. I’ll bet you half the time that Nicky, Joey and Vinny would beat the shit out of Todd, Kyle and Tucker."

What the fuck is it with mothers these days (and their usually all too willing, pussified excuses for fathers) emasculating their male children, sometimes before they are even born, by giving them ridiculous names like "Aston" and "Blair" and "Heath" and, my personal favorite, "Sasha." I mean really - your fucking castrated, suburbanite, drooling black labrador probably has a more masculine name, one that commands more respect than your soon to be tortured child.

What ever happened to good, beat-you-senseless-behind-the-dumpster-if-you-look-at-me-funny-during-recess, names, like "Butch" and "Jack" and "Donnie?"

August 18, 2004 at 1:40 PM  
Blogger NP said...

If you don't think James was among the first 25 people in line for the opening of each of the Lord of the Rings movies then you are just kidding yourself. This kid is also the kind of tech-nerd that probably had a bootleg version from Taiwan 3 weeks before the movie released.

August 18, 2004 at 1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Serial Child Rapist

August 18, 2004 at 2:01 PM  
Blogger ultrabrite99 said...

I know one James. I used to work with him. You can read his bio here:

In one short paragraph and a picture, it pretty much backs up everything you've said. He works at a small TV station in central Virginia. The town sucks, so everyone hangs out together. No one hangs out with James.

August 18, 2004 at 2:05 PM  
Blogger NP said...

there is NO way on earth that that kid isn't wearing nipple clamps and something leather under that suit.

August 18, 2004 at 2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you notice his job descriptions in the Corps? How did this guy make it through basic? A degree doesn't allow you to bypass that does it?


August 18, 2004 at 2:14 PM  
Blogger ultrabrite99 said...

"NP said...
there is NO way on earth that that kid isn't wearing nipple clamps and something leather under that suit."

No joke. He also unconvincingly hits on girls about 10 years his junior. I worked with him for about three or four months. It was a little too much creepy to handle at 4:30 in the morning.

August 18, 2004 at 2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


if you're considering any type of collaboration with tucker max, you better negotiate a 70/30 deal in your favor. to put your respective writing talent in political terms, you're reagan, he's mondale---your stories sound potentially truthful, but i wonder about the dialogue; you're either paraphrasing or carrying a recording device wherever you go, because nobody can recount complete conversations, verbatim, especially when drinking. either way, the shit's funny...

August 18, 2004 at 2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha, I'm 3 degrees away from James... maybe I can swap some Candlebox bootlegs w/ him. I'll go copy and paste some F. Scott Fitzgerald I find off of Google to introduce myself.

And Nils, I'm only 4 away from you... better watch your back before I get to read your profile! (and get a new picture... those girls will not do you any favors)

August 18, 2004 at 2:48 PM  
Blogger NP said...

both things are true. Sometimes I bring a voice recorder. Other times I am paraphrasing and taking parts out of much much longer conversations.

August 18, 2004 at 2:52 PM  
Blogger NP said...

do me any favors? I'm not looking for a girlfriend on Friendster. I didn't know that was the point. And you want to see my profile, just ask. Better yet, I'll make it public so anyone can see it.

August 18, 2004 at 2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These are also the guys that get together in the middle of campus, on the quad, and play out mock medieval battles. Everyone comes fully dressed up with fake wooden/plastic swords and shields.

They also get into serious practices before the battle, with one uber nerd (who has a greasy pony and a goatee) attempting to emulate Bill Parcels in "High English" trying to coach people.

Your buddy who wants to kill the world should start there by disguising himself as a Knight, just with real weapons and start the slaughter

August 18, 2004 at 3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do the women that date these "James" morph into your "Lindas"?

August 18, 2004 at 3:36 PM  
Blogger Malt said...

My name is Everett, how much worse can it get? Oh. My middle name is James :(

August 18, 2004 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger NP said...

James' date girls named Beth and Sarah and Andrea--the worst kinds of Andrea's too. The ones that get really pissed when you pronounce it On-DREA instead of ANN-dreea. Stupid bitches.

August 18, 2004 at 3:46 PM  
Blogger Matt K. said...

I thought the Andrea's got pissed when you didn't pronoune their name ON-dray-uh.

I used to have a roommate that went by Jim. You described him perfectly.

August 18, 2004 at 6:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My name is James, and I'm special.

August 18, 2004 at 8:25 PM  
Blogger Biscuit said...

I am in tears laughing at this, Nils. If I weren't such a nice girl, I'd send this column as a response to James' friendster message.

...Oh who am I kidding? I'm not that nice. Besides, this kid needs a wakeup call.

Updates to follow.

August 18, 2004 at 9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shit. Did a little digging, and realize I've worked with this tool. I was in the Bay Area office at the time, so it was always on the phone/email. He tries a little too hard to be a "leader" or next management superstar in my opinion. I thought he was a douche then, and after seeing his profile I'm convinced he's a douch.

August 19, 2004 at 2:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Waiting anxiously for Biscuit's update...

Hey to share your friendster profile?

August 19, 2004 at 6:12 AM  
Blogger CKR said...

Sweet Jesus, has this guy ever gotten laid? I think he was the nerd in line behind me opening weekend of the second LOTR movie wearing a Frodo shirt. So sad...

August 19, 2004 at 6:52 AM  
Blogger CKR said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

August 19, 2004 at 6:54 AM  
Blogger CKR said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

August 19, 2004 at 6:56 AM  
Blogger Biscuit said...

okay, I guess I am that nice - I couldn't send the column after all.

August 19, 2004 at 7:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Playtime with James, Phillip and Ronald?

August 19, 2004 at 8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The ones that get really pissed when you pronounce it On-DREA instead of ANN-dreea."

I worked with a girl named Alexandrea. It was a pain in the ass to spit out that mouthful everytime you needed to get her attention. After we'd worked together for awhile and became familiar, I started calling her Alex. Until she publicly told me during an office meeting that, "my name is Alexandrea and I don't appreciate begin called Alex." From that point on, I preferred the term of endearment, "Bitch."

August 19, 2004 at 8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may be nice, but I'm not!

message sent!

August 19, 2004 at 11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are your views on William?

August 19, 2004 at 11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah you sad, sad people. Your guesses about my life and my personality are terribly, terribly wrong. I've never played D&D or Magic, I own zero capes (crushed velvet or otherwise), I grew up nowhere near Orange County, and I go by Jamie. Oh, and fuck you all, and your tiny introverted world.

August 19, 2004 at 11:57 AM  
Blogger Matt K. said...

OK dude.

August 19, 2004 at 12:10 PM  
Blogger ultrabrite99 said...

Frankly, I think I trust guys who willingly let people call them "Jamie" even less.

August 19, 2004 at 12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you can't always tell a book by it's cover...and you can't always make assumptions about a person because of their name. I have a sister named Andrea (MOM's fault) who got so tired of the ridiculously monotonous pronunciation thing she just goes by the nickname Ang (pronounced anj). now, she's only a bitch sometimes

August 19, 2004 at 1:23 PM  
Blogger NP said...

Well I'll take your word for it Jamie. You know yourself better than I. After all, there is lots of time for introspection and self-analysis when you've got 8 days to kill in line for the midnight premiere of Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

August 19, 2004 at 1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:"What ever happened to good, beat-you-senseless-behind-the-dumpster-if-you-look-at-me-funny-during-recess, names, like "Butch" and "Jack" and "Donnie?" "

How the fuck do you see Donnie as a masculine name? Two Donnie/Donald's come to mind. Osmond and Trump, and neither strikes me as the type who could do shit to shit.

August 19, 2004 at 1:50 PM  
Blogger NP said...

Donnie Wahlberg

oh-oh-Oh-ohoh the RIGHT STUFF!

August 19, 2004 at 1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm inclined to agree with 'Jamie' on this one.

I mean, everyone's going on about him being a twat, but then look how many check for updates here and on tucker's page more than once a day?

On second thoughts... did he actually call everyone "introverted"?


August 19, 2004 at 1:59 PM  
Blogger Nurgirl said...

I almost feel thankful that I have a non-Western name and am spared the self-reflection that your name commentary has potentially incited in the Linda's and Ahn-dre-ahs of the world. On that note, curious to know what your take on the foreign/ethnic name is: always pretentious? only pretentious if associated with a non-foreigner/person of unsual ethnic descent?

August 19, 2004 at 2:15 PM  
Blogger Blythe said...

Classic Nils!! I dated a sexually confused "James" in university.

August 19, 2004 at 7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"How the fuck do you see Donnie as a masculine name? Two Donnie/Donald's come to mind. Osmond and Trump, and neither strikes me as the type who could do shit to shit."

Ok, first of all, "Donald" and "Donnie" are not the same thing. "Donald" is typcially the fat kid with coke bottle glasses and a Hawaiian shirt who used to bring his Macintosh laptop to summer camp with him, and started going bald at age 14. If you want to play the counterexample game, though, I'd hardly call Donald Rumsfeld a pussy, nor would I really call Donald Trump one - he's gotten more hot ass, power, and money than anyone here, I'll tell you that much.

Most of the "Donnies" I knew growing up were the kids who would skip class to smoke in junior high and meet you at the flagpole after school if you had a problem with them.

-Slappybird (who posted the original rant on this)

August 20, 2004 at 12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You forgot about the James that disregards his first name entirely and adopts his middle name, Patrick. Content simply to embrace his Irish heritage and to use his own name as yet another excuse to drink at inappropriate times and venues; he'll let you call him just about whatever the fuck you want. Pat, Patrick, or if you're that annoying twat from macro; Patty Cakes.

We're not all bad.

- James Patrick (CaptCapital)

August 22, 2004 at 5:27 PM  
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