I work a couple days a week at Charles Schulz’s studio in Santa Rosa, California. One of the people I work with is named Becci (pronounced “Becky”).
Only I don’t call her Becci.
I call her Bucky Tuna. And usually I don’t even say that.
I say, “Bucky Tuuuuuuuu.”
I think I got the nickname from Bucky Katt in Get Fuzzy (Bucky likes tuna). But it’s been so long I really don’t remember.
All I know is that as I saw her walking across the parking lot at work recently, I yelled, “Bucky TUUUUUU!!!” It was very loud. And very obnoxious.
The good thing about Becci is that even though the nickname is kind of stupid, she never says anything. She doesn’t even seem to mind when I yell it at her across the parking lot.
Except this time.
This time she stopped walking.
This time she just stared at me.
Because it wasn’t her.
Mortified, I didn’t even try to explain the situation to the scared woman who looked like she was about to mace me.
Which made it worse. As though “BUCKY TUUUUUUU” was my standard greeting with strangers.
There was only one way to play it off.
Act like it was a foreign language she didn’t understand. I even changed my walk slightly to include a limp, as though people from my country walk funny.
“Bucky tuuuu,” I mumbled as I went past her.
As though the same word that meant “hello” in my language also meant “goodbye” or “fare thee well.”
Which worked perfectly.
By which I mean she didn’t mace me.