There was a brief period in high school when I was BIG in to the WWF.
It was a great time to be a wrestling fan. Stone Cold Steve Austin was chugging beers and delivering Stunners, Degeneration X was regularly insisting that their opponents Suck It, and The Rock was the People’s Champ (can you smell it?).
During this less-discerning-phase of my life, a Classy wrestler by the name of Val Venis burst onto the scene. The ladies loved him. Well, at least that’s what he kept repeating every time he got his paws on the mic.
Val Venis’s shtick cracked me up, so I would often quote him (“Hello Ladies”) at football practices, beer die games, or pretty much anywhere that I had a male audience.
Val Venis often referred to himself as the Big Valboski, and I imitated the guy often enough that a few of my friends began calling me the Big Santoski. That name was either too verbose or I wasn’t big enough, because it was soon shortened to Santoski, Toski, or even just Tosk by those into the whole brevity thing.
Somehow the name stuck. Nicknames work like that. You don’t pick a nickname. It picks you.
When I finally needed a handle on the Internet — I didn’t own a computer until I was 17 and even then I rarely used the Internet — I couldn’t think of anything awesome so I just went with what people already called me. I threw a few 1337 vowel replacements in there for good measure and have been sant0sk1 ever since.
Today I’m putting sant0sk1 to death. Murderous? I suppose. Tragic? Nah. But you may be wondering why.
I’ll tell you why!
It’s not objectively awesome — some handles are so cool that they should never be abandoned. Notch, mechanical_fish, and tenderlove come to mind. sant0sk1 isn’t bad, but it’s nowhere near an untouchable level of cool
People can’t pronounce it — Some people who have only ever read my handle online think it’s pronounced sant-zero-s-k-one. Weird, I know, but it happens more than you’d think. This makes for first IRL encounters of the awkward kind.
I’m not Polish — I didn’t even know this was a thing, but it turns out that the “ski” suffix is common amongst Polish names. There’s only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures and the Polish.
My name is my name — As a contract software developer, I travel on my name. Anything that disconnects my work from my real name could be detrimental to that purpose.
From now on I’m just going to be boring like so many others and use my full name. I’ve already changed my username on my most frequented accounts: Twitter and GitHub. The others will follow as time permits.
Good bye, sant0sk1. It was good when it was good.