Whether you love or hate them, nicknames stick. One of my favourites was given to a friend’s father – they called him Mirrors because he would never give you a straight answer, always saying he would “look into it”.
Or that bloke we all know in the pub: we call him The Whisperer because he never shouts.
Then there are logical ones like calling the fellow who plays the bagpipes Pipes.
I started work on a newspaper and people would regularly talk about this top bloke called Pipes – he was on leave when I started. When he returned to work some time later he was introduced as Andrew. It took me weeks to realise he was one and the same – the kilt-wearing in the office should have been a bit of a giveaway but not for this perceptive, nothing-gets-past-me journalist.
The editor-in-chief at the same newspaper called me Hopperson, yelling it out across the room at all available opportunities, mostly just for the hell of it because it would make him laugh – but not sexist.
You’ve got to love the oh-so-Aussie ones. Like calling your tallest mate, Shorty, your red-headed cobber Bluey, and anyone with the surname Webb, Spider regardless of sex. Or if you’re short of inspiration, just add a “y” or an “azza” to the first name, eh Bazza/Micky?
If you get called Showbag, don’t get too excited. It means you’re full of crap. Also, Nutbag – nut a good look.
The royals, too, have proven disappointing. You’d think they’d flick some great nicknames back and forwards in their court. But no, sadly. Turns out Harry and Meghan call each other, wait for it, try not to fall over backwards with surprise, H and M. Maybe they’ve done a deal to get their crowns from that department store. Just be grateful they’re not raining monarchs.
So when the BoM dropped the bomb this week, telling journalists not to call the BoM the BoM anymore, but formally, The Bureau of Meterology or, if you must be informal, the Bureau, it was a bit like saying it was OK to wear socks with thongs. Un-Australian.
The timing, too, was not fabulous. Out rolls this media release, just-about-almost threatening us with hail if we call the BoM the BoM, again, a marketing activity that would not have been cheap, when floods are drowning our country. When all the people who live in these saturated spots want is an accurate forecast about whether their house is going to go under.
To BoM or not to BoM, that was the question. You won’t get a clap from us for the answer – only thunder, when it was revealed the rebranding exercise cost more than $220,000. Now that’s a lot of sandbags.
We all love the BoM. How you can you not love the way the radar looks when one of those storms is approaching? It looks like an explosion in a six-row box of Derwent colour pencils.
But as we end the week, the forecast is looking a little brighter. Seems the people who made this decision have been BoMbed on and some of the great minds behind this have headed for cover.
Come rain, hail or that other thing we use to have, just don’t drop the BoM.