My favorite sweater made from Icelandic wool. It cost a small fortune when I bought it at the Tintin store in London. Like many in the US of A, I didn't know anything about Tintin and his dog Miloux or Snowy (a white wire fox terrier). While working in London someone gave me the nickname, Tintin. I was lucky. Other nicknames? Sid Sparkle. Mutley. The Slant Eyed Rice Mongerer. Vodka Ronnie.
Vodka Ronnie or Vodka as he was known, was one of my favorite nicknames for one of my favorite people. A few years ago at a conference somewhere in the states...an old friend of Vodka Ronnie's from the UK (Mutley) was doing the "Grip & Grin" at a cocktail reception when he saw Vodka Ronnie across the room. Mutley had not seen Vodka in donkey years and, thanks to a drink or two, the usually shy and reserved Mutley shouted, "VODKA!" just as a waitress walked in front of him. She gave Mutley a nasty look as did the rest of the room who assumed Mutley was just another drunk Brit placing a drinks order.
Years ago Vodka and I had business in Phoenix. Checking into the Phoenix Biltmore Hotel, the desk clerk asked Vodka if he wanted a smoking room. A keen observation on her part since Vodka was standing there holding and smoking a Silk Cut. Vodka rolled his eyes and said, "Is the room smoking or is it still on fire?" The desk clerk froze as Vodka continued, "I mean, I don't mind a little smoke coming from the walls but if there's a lot of smoke..." Vodka stopped, realizing this wasn't going anywhere with his intended victim, and placed his credit card on the counter. She took the plastic and asked Vodka if he wanted a key for his minibar. "That," replied Vodka, "is the stupidest question I've ever been asked." He took a long drag off his Silk Cut and blew out a stream of smoke just over her head. "Of course, I want the key to the minibar."
The best part of being an Army Brat is not being from anywhere. Since I'm not from anywhere, I'm not connected to anything and consequently I'm open to a lot. Clothes, food, cars, people, countries... While Tintin and Snowy may be the US version of Johnny Quest and Bandit, he means more to me than just a comic character. He represents an openness to all things, places and people. The joy of travel and the desire to learn about what I don't know. By the way, Sting likes this sweater as well.