My grandmaw had eight brothers and sisters.
She once told me they all had nicknames, except for her, and it made her jealous. I asked her what those nicknames were that made her want one so bad.
Mutt, she said, was Phil’s nickname. Then there was Jake, who’s real name was Claude Franklin, and Pike, who was Thomas Martin Jr. There was Shikey who was really Jimmy, and Punky who was really Gene, and Boo Boo who was really Beaufort, and Harky Parky who was really Robert, and Picky Hanna who was really Edna and who really wanted a piano but just couldn’t say it right.
They had some cousins named Banks and Bud, and one named Little Britches, and another one named Little Mutt. I asked her why they called him that, and she told me because Mutt was already taken.
And then there was Shay, who may have really been Charles Eugene, but my grandmaw couldn’t be sure, and neither could Shay probably, because once he was getting baptized and the preacher called his real name four or five times to come forward before he finally said “Shay, that’s you, son.”