A long lost cousin and a friend who I’ve recently bumped into on the internet have both pressed me for the origins of my name. Not believing that it really is my given name and that I haven’t actually changed it to protect my innocence, since they both know my given name and doubt my innocence, I finally relented. Here is, in its complete and total absence of glory, the story of how Fuwjax got his name (back).
I did not, contrary to popular belief, make it up. I dream nightly of a creativity that could spawn such a name. And in the strictest sense, it is not a made up word at all. It is a name born of the fates, distilled in the chaos of the cosmos. A name whose origins are as random as the placement of stars in the sky, and in truth, as equally designed.
Deep within the bowels of Bonfire tradition, it was a well known though rarely stated rule: Your Bonfire Dad, the person whose role you have assumed for the coming year, decided your Bonfire Name. Often your dad just picked your nickname, my Bonfire Brother kept his nickname of Casper, but in my particular case, the only nickname that stuck with me even remotely was Cuddlebumpkins, a name which would hardly inspire fear and respect in the minds of the incoming freshmen. My dad however suffered from a creativity shortage possibly even worse than my own, and the only nickname he could come up with was PPSV, which I assure you would have garnered even less respect than Cuddlebumpkins. (in a rather sick twisted aside, you’ll never believe this guy, not only did he answer in 033 that his favorite nickname is Cuddlebumpkins, but in 002 he claims a former nickname of Woogie. He even looks a bit like Earl. Could he be my long thought deceased Bonfire Dad?)
So the night before First Cut, the last possible day he could give me a name without incurring the wrath of his elders, affectionately referred to as the “Deads”, he made me repaint my Pot, my hard hat, in preparation for my new name. To inspire some semblance of creativity in himself, he drank enough whiskey to cause slight to moderate cellular mutation, and in the resulting drunken stupor mixed with the teeniest flash of brilliance, he stuck a half used sheet of Geotype (a now seemingly defunct, and therefore unlinkable, brand of lettering) stick on letters, the specific style of which I no longer remember, to his forearm. After pealing the sheet back off his arm, the letters FUWJAX remained. He called me over, showed me his arm, and passed out.
A name I in no way earned. A name, which quite frankly didn’t have anything to do with me at all. A name a man almost died to give me.
I have another name, a name someone really did die to give me. And it’ll stick around long after “Fuwjax” is forgotten.
But back to Fuwjax. I have done everything in my power to fluff up the story of the genesis of “Fuwjax” but in vain, I’m afraid. There’s just no way to make that a story worth telling. So I came up with the following alternative explanations, all of which are completely invented, but far more amusing.
because it was my Bonfire Name: “fuwj” is the sound an ax makes in the heartwood of a well aged cedar. Killing cedars during Bonfire Cut is a highly discouraged practice, yet a practice at which I excelled.
for the trivia buffs: “Fuwjax” was the screen name of the only character ever listed in the credits of a “The Twilight Zone” episode who didn’t have a speaking role. The character was actually a printing press in the publishing room of a widely syndicated newspaper, who changed the print according to its own, undoubtedly evil, schemes. How this actually ties in to me, I’m not sure, but it sure sounds fun.
for members of our Armed Forces: “Fuwjax” is the tool used to raise the “Foobar”. I am that tool.
Podunkwa, curiously enough, is not a language but is, in fact, a word entirely of my own imagination, invented as a euphemism with overtly sexual overtones. To my doubled shame it is both a word inappropriate for mixed company, and the only made up language-sounding word I could think of.
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