The Walrus and Jim Carpenter were speeding on their bikes
Descending on the Ojai Trail, which ev'rybody likes.
The Walrus doesn't mind (too much) when people call him that;
His name is Wallace Russell, and well, frankly, he is fat.
His lanky partner's nicknamed too, in part for fun and games,
But also since our riding group has seven guys named James.

To minimize confusion, and to have a little fun,
We've coined much more descriptive names for almost every one.
The senior James is Grampa Jim; I think he's eighty-three.
James Carpenter is called Slim Jim; another's called JimPee.
(He has a prostate problem which necessitates a stop
Three times along the Ojai Trail while climbing to the top.)

The shortest one's called Little Jim, which doesn't make him smile.
He hasn't punched somebody – yet... he may be slow to rile.
Long Jim's an Easy Racer fan, but he's been heard to claim
Some other feature as the source of that descriptive name.
James number six is JimMcM; I'm really not sure why
He got off quite so easy, but... he IS a real nice guy.

That seventh man is always 'James'; nobody calls him Jim.
I don't believe that it's because we're all in awe of him,
Or even that his mannerisms mark him as effete –
Although he dresses nicer than the two guys we call Pete...
That is, unless they both show up, in which case I confess:
We call one Pete and one Re-Pete (as anyone might guess).

And some of us do that same thing with Phil and Re-Phil, too.
They both ride tandems, both with blonds (one's Lora, one is Lou).
We tried initials for these pairs; that concept sounded good,
But didn't work out quite as well as we had thought it would.
With given names that start the same, that mucks things up as well,
Since one can't differentiate by saying P&L.

Although we have three Williams, each of them is just called Bill;
There has been some confusion, but I'm doubtful that we will
Endeavor to repeat the scheme we worked out for the Jims.
We have four Lindas in the group, but no cute pseudonyms
For them or other female folk who frequent THIS group's rides;
We're really not that clever – and we might get smacked, besides...

My wife, whose first name's Linda too, has always been called Kay,
(Unless she doesn't answer, and I need her right away!)
And that's a trend I've noticed, folks: most nicknames tend to be
Succinct – two syllables at most, and very rarely three.
We have a Rich, a Nick, a Steve, two Johns, three Bobs, four Daves,
And I for one appreciate the time-to-talk that saves.

My first name's (almost) secret, since I've used my middle name
Since I was four or five years old, and difficult to tame...
The other guy who rides with us whose real name's also Wayne
Has graciously accepted that he's better known as Twain:
The Other Wayne in shorthand form? A flippant, flipped Wayne Two?
Well, either way, I guess it helps us sort out who is who...

A rose by another name should smell almost as sweet,
And nicknames used in our group – most often incomplete
Or shortened forms of longer names – have not, I do believe,
Embarrassed, angered, or (I hope!) caused anyone to leave.

POW Index

Last updated 5/6/2010