Introduction, Blasphemy, and Youth Group

My name is Richard Braxton, and people always ask: do you go by Rich, Richey, or Dick. I tell them that I go by Richard, but I will answer to anything if I know that they are talking to me. I will even answer to “hey fuck face” if you say it politely. And I have been given many nicknames over the years like the obligatory “Big Rich,” “Big Man,” and “Big B” or their inverse like “Tiny.” When it meant something I was called Tony. But for one day, I went by “Mike.”

 

Being a young dick head, anytime I had to sign in for anything, I would sign my name as “Mike Hunt.” I was young enough to think that it was clever, but old enough to know that everyone had heard that one thousands of times before. But I had gone with a group of friends to their church youth group and the pastor expected us to sign in. Abought half an hour into the meeting, the pastor wanted to split us up into teams to play some sort of game, and by chance, he picked up the sign in sheet and began to assign teams by first name instead of just dividing the room in half.

 

I had been the last person to sign the sheet and I waited as people were called out by their first name until the pastor read out the name “Mike.” I sat back and watched my friends look around asking, “Who the hell is Mike?” And then it happened, the pastor repeated, “Mike, Mike Hunt.” I sat back quietly sinking into the leather armchair waiting for people to catch the joke then in exasperation the pastor said. “Where’s Mike Hunt?” And hilarity ensued. Eventually, someone realized that mine was the only name that was not called, and for the rest of the day my name was Mike.

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