My community is sort of like Gotham City.
In Gotham City, if rare art went missing, it had to be "The Joker." If there was a kidnapping with a slew of riddles lying around the crime scene, it was - no CSI needed - "The Riddler." If an armed robbery included a bunch of umbrellas, "The Penguin" was responsible. And if there was a diamond heist, the culprit was undoubtedly "Mr. Freeze."
Here, if someone steals a radio, in all likelihood, "Radio" did it. If your boat motor goes missing, the authorities immediately start looking for "Mullet." If a pie gets lifted from a window sill, the likely target of the ensuing probe is "Large Larry."
All of our criminals - all 21 of them - have their own MOs, things they like to steal and clues they like to leave, and their own unique nicknames, or "street names."
In Florida, they are cataloguing these "street names" in an effort to battle crime.
A South Florida Sun-Sentinel story details how police are using nicknames to nab criminals. The story says that Delray Beach police have 659 nicknames in their database. Unfortunately, unlike Gotham City, where all six of the city's criminals went by different monikers, the same can not be said of Delray Beach hoodlums. There are nine guys nicknamed "Peanut," for instance. "Big Man" is also very popular in the Florida criminal underworld, as is "Champ" and "Pee Wee."
So, fathers, be wary if your daughter starts dating a guy with the nickname of "Bean Pole" or "Butter Cat" or "Boy George" or "Horse Head" or "Chicken Man" or "Weasel" or "Tweet" or "Scarface" or "Snake" or "Stinky" or "Donkey Weed" or "Drunk Moe." They are all included in the scofflaw nickname database.
And if your daughter is already dating a young man named "Donkey Weed," and you just became alarmed after reading this, please give your child up for adoption.
The story details how a phone shop in Boynton Beach was robbed, and how police determined that a suspect with the street name of "Twin" did it. Police then determined that Jean Prospere "Twin" Destine, 24, was the culprit and he was later arrested. He is called "Twin" because he has a twin brother. I guess Jean Prospere doesn't sound "street" enough. I'd go by "Twin" too.
While I've been called many things in my life, I don't think "That Idiot Newspaperman" is my official "street name." I don't really think I have one and have no idea how one obtains a moniker like "Horse Head" or "Drunk Moe." Actually, on second thought, I do.
I think I need such a street nickname, though, if I ever decide to engage in a life of crime. And you can too. I have devised a formula to configure your street name. Here it is: Pick either an ugly animal or a fattening condiment + the name of something on your cranium or a household pet. For instance, you could come up with "Turkey Dog" or "Margarine Nose" or "Ketchup Neck" or "Butter Cat" (already popular in Florida - good for confusing the cops).
I'm going with "Chicken Lips." Please don't utilize my "street name." I want to establish my own street cred, thank you.
Len Robbins is editor and publisher of The Clinch County News.