Tuesday, March 06, 2007


In response to Donk's recent post where she explains the origin of her very flattering nickname that I insist on using all the time, I am compelled to explain the roots of my own nickname which you see before you: Finny.

It is not an iteration on my given name, which is Jessica for anyone remotely curious. Nor does it have any ties to my middle or last name, which I'll just keep to myself. It's not even a cutesy nickname from Bubba with some sordid and barfable romantic story to justify it's existence.

No, it's something more eyebrow raising and questionable than all that.

(This is when those of you with conservative hearts and minds should go ahead and look away.)

It's a remnant from drunken days spent holed up in a college newsroom with a pack of very feisty (and sickeningly hilarious) advertising sales people and editorial types, some of whom are still very, very close friends of mine.

Of these frighteningly funny people, one stood out in earnest as the figurehead for the immature and abusive humor we all loved so much. We'll call him Donut.

Donut and I worked together for about three years. During which time he coined many of my favorite side-splitting catch-phrases and scenarios, most at his own expense. For instance, after rolling into our mandatory 8am pre-press meeting one week with his hair so wildly out of control and so obviously unclean, he took one look at our startled faces and, before we could crack a single joke, plainly said,

"I would like to inform you all that I'm no longer restricting my hair."

To which we promptly replied with resonant hysterics.

Donut was our class clown and we all loved him so. Me, Donk, Bubba (yes, we all worked together in this circus dressed as a newsroom) - everyone. Well, everyone except for the two faculty personnel charged with reigning in our rampant mayhem in the name of producing a weekly newspaper.

Said personnel didn't rejoice in our humor. In fact, "jokes" and their "appropriateness" were a fixed line item in our weekly sales meetings. As it turns out, inside jokes between very close friends, when shared loudly and openly across a crowded and stressed newsroom run by crotchety, insecure middle-aged men, are not as consistently pleasing as they might be, say, when shared over pizza and poker at Donut's house on Thursday nights.

Who knew?

Who knew that making continued and pointed fun of Donut the Drunk for passing out in the middle of a main street in town because he was trying to walk home after doing dozens of shots with one of our clients was not ok?

Who knew that bringing up our coworkers childhood poverty in the form of line drawings posted throughout the building wasn't as funny as we thought it was? (He DID sew his own clothes and then tell us about it. What did he expect? Plus, he was the one who taped up the pictures anyway.)

Who knew that tying "Berg" to the end of every far-fetched nickname because your coworker is a Jew would be unacceptable behavior?

I mean, really. Are we THAT sensitive?

Apparently some people are. (Losers)

What does that have to do with Finny? Let me tell you.

One day I bought a new pair of jeans. The jeans were a skoshe too long. I wore them anyway because with my boots on, they were fine. But then I got to work (the newsroom) and decided it was hard to do chair races while wearing said boots. So, off came the boots. Then I realized that it was even harder to do chair races with the legs of my jeans all balled up around my ankles or spooning my heels.

IDEA! I will cuff them.

So, I rolled them up in big wide cuffs in a Huckleberry Finn-style one might say.

It took approximately 1.5 seconds for someone to call me Huckleberry Finn. It took less than 1 second for Donut to then say, "More like Huckleberry Finn-berg". And even less time for the entire ad sales staff (MY staff, I might add. I was the manager at the time) to officially change my name to Finnberg.

From that point on it was just as likely for me to be called Finnberg as it was for Donut to show up to a meeting with his hair matted into clumps and smelling enthusiastically of sour booze. Which is to say, very likely indeed.

The adaptation of Finnberg to Finny came at the hands of my worldly and sensitive friend, Donk, who, likely horrified by the anti-Semitic undertones of my given nickname, dropped the "berg" and gave it a whimsical ring which you will all recognize now as, Finny.

And so now, as I go by this nickname regularly with Donk, intermittently with some of my friends, irregularly with my parents, in third person with Bubba (as in, "Will Finny be posting this video of Rocket grooming me while I slept" to the blog?) and consistently with the blogging public, I am reminded of the unhinged hilarity of college and the irrepressible senses of humor which I still find startlingly funny even to this day. Inappropriate as they may be.

And if you are offended by this story, my nickname, sensitive topics paraded out in the name of a good laugh, etc, then let me now refer you to the disclaimer at the top of this blog. Most specifically, "try not to cry about it."

So now you know.

Cheers all!
Finny, Finnberg, Jewssica, et al


  1. Not offended in the least!

    Thanks for the explanation - "Donk" had me very curious about the etymology of the names...

    (And speaking of names,who knew that you had a "Bubba," too! Aren't they the best???)

  2. Dying. I am dying of laughter just thinking of Donut, the exchange and how freaking long it must have taken you to find a photo of Huck Finn's cuffs.

  3. I second it, "LONG LIVE FINN AND DONK!"

  4. i have never even had a nickname. very cool story.I think i have nickname envy :)

  5. Ah, sweet memories. Well, when you were manager that was just slightly after my time there, so at first I thought Donut might just be the guy who broke his beer bottle in the hot tub at the house of who I now think Donut is. Am I right? Ha. Oh, lovely memories of slumber parties, maple syrup on a certain ad manager's car (who knew TP would stick so well to it?) Oh Lord, stop me now before my business goes down the tubes for reminiscing about my college days. Sigh... LONG LIVE PWBATTCCA!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Ahhhh. PWBATTICA. Now THAT's a reference!

  7. lla- Yay! Bubbas for everyone! Happy to have you here, oh Not Offended one.

    AK - Two words for you: Google Images

    Lera - Yes ma'am - Long live Finn and Donk! We're quite the pair.

    Shelley - Close. Think beer box as a hat and you'll be there. Donut is a very special person. So special one might judge all others against him - if yaknowwhatImean...

    Bubba - You're right, Bubba - PWBATTCCA rules. Shelley - FYI we both still have our PWBATTCCA cards. Oh yes. And we have united as one. SCARY!

  8. ha! Hysterical. I love the grooming video best though. I always just assumed Donk was a misspelling of Dork (I haven't read Kelli's post yet. Just catching up on my blog reading...). I used to be part of a chat room (ahem, again, NOT dorky...cool), and someone misspelled 'gay' once as 'gat'. So with that group, it is still, years later, always 'gat' that is used in a description.
    You're so lucky to have found a job so full of joy. I hope to find that soon. That's my next goal...


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.