Saturday, October 20, 2012

What's in a name?

Between here and the card forums, I've seen my user name written a million different ways.  Some people go with Spastik or Mooss when referring to me, others correct the spelling and write it Spastic or Moose.  I always wonder if people think I misspelled those words by accident since I never really explained where my username comes from.  So I figured I'd explain it once and for all here - hey it's something to do on a Saturday night while drinking!

Anywho, the long and short of it is that in 7th grade, a few friends and I all took Latin together.  Our Latin teacher was one of those guys who easily gets onto life tangents from time to time, so the class often dissolved into a sort of free period where people just told stories and had nice convos.  During one of those convos my buddies and I were talking about how many band/song names are misspelled and this led to us trying to think of our own sweet misspelled band name.  A few were tossed around but the only one I remember is Spastik Mooss, because that's the name we agreed was best.

We changed the C to a K, and the E to an S, and the name was set.  None of us really played instruments (one friend had played drums for two weeks and I played viola), but we decided the four of us were now in a band with a sweet name.  More just a cool kid's club than a true band, but I decided every band needs cover art, and worked on our first album cover during the next week of class.  I thought the results were pretty sweet:
 Penguins have always been my favorite animal, so I made our shtick a penguin on most of our album covers.  I also always loved adding "ish" to things that weren't words, so that explains that.  And I forgot to mention that the second s in Spastik was decided to be backwards in our band - sort of like the Korn R, which we thought made our band extra awesome.  We also alternated capital and lower case letters just for poops and giggles.  Good stuff.

Of course we weren't a real band, but we did need songs for out albums.  So we made up one or two and otherwise just threw down fake names:
The Richard Nixon song and The Penguin Bunch are the only two songs we ever truly made up, though neither were true songs and neither had anything besides lyrics.  The others are just random references to stuff that was involved in my life in 7th grade - I had some shirt with a Duck all taped up  - Duck Tape.  Freak on a Leash was huge at the time - Penguin on a leash.  Mad Cow Disease was rampant - Mad Cow Disease.  Ditto with Gansta's Paradise and What Is Love by Haddaway and their songs Penguin's Paradise and What is Penguin?  Needless to say Weird Al Yankovich was also a big influence of ours at the time.  

Anywho, that first album was fun to draw and I figured it'd stop there, but everyone thought it was kind of cool to have a fake CD so I made another.  So our follow up CD was called "Find the Penguin":

 Pretty easy to find said penguin, but the little easter egg was that the Stop sign was graffitied, with "being penguinish" under Stop.  Fun stuff.  The car has our band name on it but the colors didn't work well together.  The back is unfinished:
The scene is kind of nuts - I went to the Road Kill Cafe as a kid and I guess it left an impression on me since they made it on the back of this CD.  As for the songs, only two here - Annalover and Did Somebody Order a Pizza?  The former is named after me, as I had a crush on some girl named Anna in 7th grade.  The latter is just a goofy reference to the cheesy porno pizza delivery guy gimmick.  We needed more songs, but hey these weren't real songs anyway so it's all good.

Anyway, by this point our Latin teacher had caught us making these, but instead of scolding us he said they were really cool and that he approved of them in a sense.  So we made our third and final cover in tribute to him.  His name was Mr. Bink (no not this guy), so we called it Binkopalooza:

The writing is different here because my friend Brian helped out too, but clearly this one got a little trippy-er.  Very psychedelic feel going on, complete with a doobie for our little penguin guy.  When we showed it to Mr. Bink he thought it was hilarious, and told us, "I can't believe it, I've risen to the fame of Leonard Skinner."  So we added that to the song list:
Once again, all our songs kind of tied in with the theme of the CD.  So all had Bink in the name except for the quote one.  A fine ending to the trilogy that was Spastik Mooss.

Spastik Mooss sort of survived into 8th grade - we never made any more CD covers and never wrote any songs, but we did invent a moose antlers gesture and a "Mooss Caboose" thing that lasted a while.  After that it was dead for a while until high school, when my friend who actually did have musical talent (and is actually in a band now) tried to get it back together with some new friends of ours.  And it actually worked - they had a jam session at someone's house and called themselves Spastik Mooss and so for a day in my sophomore year the band was back alive!  Only problem was I was playing lacrosse by then, and so I couldn't make the session, and with me having no free time and them getting busier after that day the band never met up again.  So sad.  On the plus side, my Mom found the covers around senior year and asked me about them, so I gave her the whole story above.  She thought it was neat and actually made the first cover (Penguinish) into a pillow cover - so Spastik Mooss ended up with some more memorabilia in a very random way,

So that's the history of my username.  Even after all that, I didn't really use it as a username until college - I think freshman year.  Got nostalgic one day and started using that name for YouTube or something, and the thing caught on.  Now I use it for most of my online tags since it's pretty unique and I think it's fun too.  Good stuff.  Any of you have some weird stories behind your usernames?  Obviously something like Night Owl or Scott Crawford...those are self explanatory, but others are a bit weirder and I know I definitely wonder about the story behind the tag from time to time.  Now, whether you wanted to or not, you know mine!


  1. Damn... it feels like one of the greatest mysteries of the world has finally been solved. Makes me wish I would have chosen a more creative username. Thanks for sharing.

  2. And here I had thought it was from getting attacked by a moose.

  3. A great story! I wish I had something as awesome to share...