Nickname, do you have any, how did you get your nick names?
Image of Joe Soap.
How did I get my nickname?
The story behind my nickname is of some interest and a story of great miss fortune, bullying, torment and success.
It is a true story and lies behind the full origin of my nickname.
It leads me often to think of myself, as a real, live, walking miracle, that statement you might think, is a little over the top but just continue reading to find out that it isn't at all.
The story starts when I was 2 years old, a small baby who fell head first, into a Dolly Tub of boiling hot water, as if that wasn’t enough but I was saved in a case that can be easily described as pure happenstance.
A walking miracle.
What caused this to happen?
My mother had taken me to the kitchen area and taken my trousers off to go to the toilet, the kitchen outside door was closed. She returned to another part of the house which was a bungalow to attend to my little sister who was a 1 year old.
A friend of my mothers who was heavily pregnant was a little hungry and decided to make her self a sandwich so went to the kitchen to do so. Whilst doing this she heard an odd noise outside and went to look, outside the kitchen door was a wooden shed, built onto the side of the bungalow house. Inside it was a large steel dolly tub of boiling hot water, that had only just minuets earlier, been put out.
The tub was full of dirty nappy’s that where being boiled, this was 1963 and washing machines where too expensive and disposable nappy’s had not been invented. Next to the tub was a tea chest, about a foot high off the floor, with a thin board over the hole, on the top of the wooded tea chest.
A Dolly Tub and Tea Chest.
How it may have happened.
I as a baby it is thought, climbed onto the tea chest to reach up, to get at some of my fathers tools that where on the shelf above. The board over the top was not secure, so when my full weight had stood on it, the thin wood collapsed and I fell head fist into this boiling water. Just at the same time, as my mums guest, had been going to the kitchen to make a sandwich and heard the noise, to be able to sound the alarm and save me.
There would have been no chance of hearing or knowing anything otherwise from the far side of the house because it was a long way from the kitchen area, as it was the insides of 3 bedroom bungalow.
The country side.
Help was a long way away.
We lived out in the countryside and about three quarters of a mile from the nearest houses and about a mile from the nearest public telephone box. My mothers guest who was heavily pregnant ran to the the telephone box to phone for and ambulance. The nearest hospital was about 8 miles away, so in all it was about an hour before I was attended to by medical staff in a hospital.
Thoughts about the kitchen door.
It is thought that in the moments between me going to the toilet and my mums guest going to the kitchen somebody had opened the kitchen door to the outside of the bungalow .
Next to the bungalow, quite close by was a large building where an old couple lived and the old man used to get water from our kitchen often. It is said that he just as often left the back door open. It is thought that this man had done this and that was how the kitchen door was left open.
Even when I did get to the hospital they had problems, more than half of my body had been burned with 3rd degree burns. My body was weeping vital fluids faster than they could replace them and the hospital did not have the specialist staff or facilities to deal with burns of this degree. I was eventually sometime later rushed about 35 miles to another hospital in the city of Liverpool by ambulance.
My mother was told to not expect me to pull through the night because of the extent of my injuries, burns only one quarter as bad as these in 1963, where killing many people, grown ups, let alone 2 year old baby's, it was not looking good but I survived.
1st, 2nd and 3rd degree burns.
I had a difficult time as a child, all attributable to the results of this horrific accident, that is as near as could be described, as a miracle to be found and survive.
I was only 2 years old, in pain, in need for love and tender care from those closest to me but because of circumstance my mother could not afford to stay in Liverpool, so I was alone, hurting and only having complete strangers to comfort me.
I spent a lot of time in hospitals, away from my family with complete strangers, at times when it is important to feel and be part of the bonding between you and your birth mother/family. At least a loving bond with another close human being but I spent a lot of time away from this situation, in hospital getting surgery, to make my body operable, usable.
I was left with visible scars on my neck, which was like a cobweb from my chin to my collar bone as a younger child, until it was removed some years later but I was lucky as the rest could be hidden with my clothing.
Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Liverpool, UK
Victim of bullying
These visible scars made me the victim of bullying and after the accident, my family had moved into the nearest town, which meant we now lived in a small street with other families, all with older children, who bullied me, physically and mentally. This happened because I was younger and an easy target, with my unsightly scars, that where visible, it also helped to make me intolerant to bully's, large or small. I became hardened by it, with little fear of grown ups because I had been in hospitals fending for myself to a large degree and was a difficult child to manage because I was going through traumatic times alone often.
During this time leading up to the age of 7 I was given the name Bog as another way of being horrible to me, it is ironic really because the person who give me the name, was probably the only child I liked in the street where I lived. I hated his brother, who was about 3 years older than me, very big and not easy to defend myself against, he used to bully me and hit me a lot as I can remember. Although I did manage to take advantage once and hurt him so bad he never bullied me again easily because he remembered what I would do if given the chance.
My father was a handy man, always making and building things, I was a nuisance always wanting to be helping him, getting in the way of what he was doing, this was how I got burned in the first place trying to get to his tools. His favourite words for telling me off and warding me off, was to say bugger off Gareth, Gareth will you bugger off. As I was bullied by other children in the street mostly boys, they always made horrible names up for me and called me things like snotty, smelly, bin man, ugly and what ever.
The older boy who I liked, happened to put the first letters of what I was being called together from my dads words to make Bog, Bugger Off Gareth, B, O, G.
It was just another horrible name to call me, like all the rest because in the UK many people call the toilet a bog. It is odd really because even now, I am 51 years old and many people who I grew up with in the town where I live, still call me Bog and do not know my real name as Gareth. In fact if you mention Gareth to them, they often do not know me but if you say Bog, they know me right away because I am a fairly well know person in the town where I live as Bog.
I liked the name Bog as I got older because it was unusual enough to remember and odd enough to be interesting, a good combination for an artist.
Do you have a nickname or nicknames, how did you get yours?