Homework: Nicknames and Dreams In this week's homework segment, we share tales of listener nicknames. Among them is the story of how one man in Atlantic City, N.J., was named after the grandson of Genghis Khan. Next week's assignment: Send in true stories of recurring dreams.
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Homework: Nicknames and Dreams

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Homework: Nicknames and Dreams

Homework: Nicknames and Dreams

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ANDREA SEABROOK, host:

Last week in our Homework segment, we asked listeners to tell us their nicknames, and so many responded. Today, we share three of our favorites. The first, from listener Larry Benz(ph), who called in with a story about his twin sister and her new born son, Michael(ph).

Mr. LARRY BENZ (Caller): And given that we were competitive our whole lives, it was very important to me that Michael would say my name first, instead of his mom's. So we're going to his room and sit there, literally, for like an hour, two hours and just keeps saying Lala(ph), Lala, Lala because my name is Larry. And I would say Uncle Lala, Uncle Lala. So, anyway, because I would do that, his first words were Lala. And from that day forward, my nickname has been La or Lala.

Mr. LES CAMERAMAN(ph) (Caller): My name is Les Cameraman. And I live in Atlantic City, New Jersey. And my nickname is Kub or more properly Kubla from Kubla Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan. My father loves the Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem. "In Xanadu, did Kubla Khan, a stately pleasure-dome decree: Where Alph, the sacred river ran, through caverns measureless to man, down to a sunless sea." And that's where my name came from. But when I introduce myself to new acquaintance, I simply use the name Les because whenever I say Kub, they go, what? I go Kub. They go, what? I say Kub. They say, what? I say, Les.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. CAMERAMAN: He almost named my brother Xanadu. Thank God, he didn't.

Ms. MELISSA WHEELER(ph): My name is Melissa Wheeler and I live in Oakland, California, and my nickname, my childhood nickname is Giggi(ph) because I giggled at lot. Both my parents were writers, and my letters from them always started out with Dear Gig. Gig turned to be the more adult name of Giggi.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. WHEELER: Little did I know that - I mean, it took me completely by surprise that my nickname would be something that I miss with my parents. And by the -year after my mother died, I saw a note that I had saved from her and it started out, Dear Gig, and it really hit me that my nickname died along with my parents.

(Soundbite of music)

SEABROOK: Thanks to everyone who called or wrote in.

(Soundbite of music)

SEABROOK: That's including you, Pooky(ph) and you, Andy Pants(ph) and, yes, even you, Stink Pot(ph).

Next week, we offer you a chance to fulfill your Hollywood dreams. While the screenwriters' strike continues, make up a plotline for the TV show you've missed the most, and sent it to homework@npr.org or call our Homework hotline at 202-408-5183. That's 202-408-5183. Please include your real name and phone number.

Speaking of TV dreams, Miss America struts the runway tonight in Las Vegas. This is not your mother's Miss America. Bert Parks is long gone. The festivities are no longer in Atlantic City and in an attempt to lure viewers after years of sagging ratings, the 87-year-old pageant have adopted a reality show format, and a snarky brand of humor.

The contestants were put through four weeks of challenges reminiscent of other reality shows, "Survivor"-style obstacle courses and dressmaking ala-"Project Runaway." Style gurus pick to part their classic big hair and sequence beauty queen looks and, tonight, the contestants will wear blue jeans on the stage as the judges choose the winner. But, will she be crowned so that all chestnuts there she is, Miss America. NPR has not been able to confirm.

(Soundbite of song, "There She Is, Miss America")

Mr. WAYNE BERNIE (Singer): (Singing): There she is.

Unidentified Group: (Singing) There she is.

Mr. BERNIE: (Singing) Walking on air, she is fairest of the fair she is, Miss America.

Coming up, the lyrical theatrics and theatrical lyrics of Vinicio Capossela.

This is NPR News.

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