Have you ever been bored?
I mean, really, really bored?
One summer in the 1980s, I was bored like that.
You see, I worked in an amusement park. And on days when it would rain, the employees would stand around in our restaurant for hours with nothing to do and it would be very, very boring.
With that kind of boredom and no way to relieve it, my co-workers and I would play games. One of the most tedious was called, 'Guess My Middle Name.' We'd start with the first letter in the name and then try to guess it. Ordinarily, the guessing would take a few minutes and we'd move on to the next person in the restaurant.
Until it was my turn.
My family has a tradition of naming the first-born male 'James' with a middle name that is the maiden name of the child's mother. Not that unusual, right? Well, in my case, that makes my middle name 'Gruver'.
So when it was my turn in the game, I'd say my middle name starts with the letter 'G' and the guessing would begin. 'George' somebody would say. Then 'Gregory'. Or how about 'Geronimo'?
This would go on for nearly an hour. When they'd finally give up and I'd tell them it is 'Gruver', I'd be accused of lying until I would produce my driver's license to confirm it.
After a few summers of working at Hersheypark, I grew to hate this rainy-day game and I did start to lie. I started telling people my middle name began with the letter 'X' and that it didn't stand for anything - it was just the letter 'X'.
Then I created a story in which my mother, exhausted from the delivery, simply put an 'X' on my birth certificate after I was born. My father wrote his name around it for some reason which I never fully explained. This created my first and middle names of 'James X'.
So people started calling me by the nickname 'Jimmy X'. I shortened the 'Jimmy' to 'Jimi' when I would write longhand as a sort of tribute to Jimi Hendrix, and from then on the nickname sort of stuck with me.
Jimi X on h2g2
I joined h2g2 on August 13, 1999. I was two months into a new job and I was bored. Naturally, when asked to supply a nickname, the first thing I thought of was 'Jimi X'.
While I was still a newbie, I wrote a few entries and had them accepted into the Edited Guide.
In October, I was invited to join the Subeditors.
I joined the ACEs shortly after they were created, but resigned that position to concentrate on sub-editing.
When Peta announced the creation of the University of Life scheme with the Field Researcher positions, I signed-up to help in the Department of Astronomy.
In August 2000, Peta and Abi invited me to join the Gurus. And I've never been able to say 'no' to Peta, so now I'm a Guru too.
Not even a month after that I was invited to join the Scouts. And again, the charm of our former Community Editor and her deputy convinced me to give it a go.
A month after that I rejoined the ACEs to help out greeting and meeting newbies to the site.
I don't know what it is about h2g2 that has so engaged me. I guess I really believe in the concept of a global guide to Life, the Universe, and Everything. I plan keep writing about my local area and hope the Guide keeps accepting the entries.
I think I'll stay for a while more...