My OH has a very annoying habit of always making up nicknames for people - and then continually using them.
For example, we bought our house from a very nice couple called Mr and Mrs Luther. Only I didn't know they were called Mr and Mrs Luther because my OH only ever referred to them as Mr and Mrs Lucifer - Lucifer as in the devil. So I went around merrily calling them this until the day we moved into the house and Mr Lucifer himself ushered me in as he was removing the last boxes from the front garden. 'I'm sure you will be very happy here!' he exclaimed. 'Thank you Mr Lucifer!' I replied. 'The name is Luther' he corrected me.
This 'habit' is even more irritating now we have children because children see things in a very black and white fashion and if someone is 'called' something then that is that. So I will confess to feeling slightly anxious when my OH started to call one of our neighbours 'Mr Squirrel'. Mr Squirrel is a trifle odd. He once spent an entire summer painting a 70ft long fence with a brush the size of a child's toothbrush. Progress occurred at the rate of around 5 cm a day and about twice a day his wife would come out and yell at him to hurry up. When he wasn't painting the fence, he was collecting slugs in a bucket and then carrying them down the road and over to the local nature reserve. I mean most people go for an evening stroll with their dog, but no, he took a bucket of slugs.......Says rather a lot I think.
However, the actual reason he was named Mr Squirrel is because he scurries up and down the back lawn in a very furtive manner, usually wearing a string vest, and stashing things in his special shed (they have two sheds - a normal one, and 'his' shed. I don't know what's in it. I don't know if I want to know). My son loved to watch him from the upstairs window and one day my OH joined him and Mr Squirrel was 'born'. Ever since then I've had to drag my oldest son past Mr Squirrel very very fast every time we see him (which is in fact, most days) to protect him from the cries of: 'Oh look mummy! It's Mr Squirrel! The secret man from next door!'.
Things took an interesting turn today when we saw Mr Squirrel getting into his car (wearing his leather driving gloves and flat cap, of course).
Son 1: 'Oh look mummy, Mr Squirrel!'.
Me: 'Yes, now come along please'.
Son 1: 'When I was at school we had a story about squirrels'.
Me: 'Oh yes, how lovely'.
Son 1: 'Yes and I told my teacher that my daddy calls the man next door Mr Squirrel'.
Me: 'Oh. Did you??' (my heartbeat begins to increase and I feel my hands go clammy).
Son 1: 'Yes and my teacher said was that his name? And I said, oh no, it's because Mr Squirrel loves putting his nuts in his secret shed'.
Luckily, it's Half-Term.
Luckily, for my OH, he's at work.