In my post yesterday, I mentioned that I didn’t get a lot of suggestions when I asked for ideas for future posts. Matt from a Prolific Potpourri commented that I should write about taters. I won’t do that, but I will do an origin story for Tater.
Much like Clark Kent has always been Superman even before he put on the suit, I have always been Tater even before I took on the name. Tater, though, was not my original alter ego. Back when I first started to participate in online spaces where I needed a user name I struggled with what to use. My first few tries were already taken. I was stuck. I was sitting in front of the computer at the jail library desperately trying to think of something no one else would have used. I looked up as I was thinking and saw the book Practical Demonkeeping by Christopher Moore. It was one of my favorite books. I thought it would be a good choice for inspiration. The book was about a demon named Catch. I decided to try the name Demoncatch. It was available, so I became Demoncatch online. I used the name for various bulletin boards. I used the name on LiveJournal. My first, and still my primary, gmail account was firstname.lastname@example.org(feel free to send me rude emails). I was Demoncatch until my use of the Demoncatch spaces started to wane. I stopped writing on LiveJournal. I joined Facebook where I was just myself. I was only Demoncatch in my email address. Otherwise, the alter ego was dead. Eventually, Tater would rise from the ashes.
Around this time, I was working half of my time at the jail and the other half at the public library. One of the perks of working at the jail was a free lunch in the officer’s dining room. It wasn’t always a great lunch, but it was free and sometimes they had my favorite food – tater tots. I love tater tots. Tater tots are the perfect form of potato. Fries are good, but they can’t compare to tater tots. I think the major failing of the fast food industry is that Sonic is the only place smart enough to have tots on the menu.
I would talk about free tots a lot while I was at the public library. I would complain if I found out they had tot day while I was at the public library instead of the jail. I would mention that my jail day was not great, but at least I got free tots. I talked about tots enough that my friends there started calling me Tater. For my birthday one year they gave me a tote bag with Tater on it and a bag of frozen tater tots. When we started using radios at work to communicate, I was assigned radio #8 and the label on it read T8er. Eventually, pretty much everyone at work knew me as Tater. When I was the emcee for our professional development day my instructions were “read the basic script we gave you, but Tater it up to make it entertaining” Tater was just real life me until 13 years ago today
I got that notification this morning. Thirteen years ago today I joined Twitter and once again needed to have an online alter-ego. Tater was taken, so I went with the Twitter handle theycallmetater. Tater was now a part of the online world. I have never been that active on Twitter. After 13 years I only have 481 followers and rarely tweet more than the link to my latest blog post. That same year, I decided to start this blog. It made sense to continue with the Tater theme since I had established the Tater persona on Twitter. So, The World’s Common Tater was born in July of 2008. I was not very active for years. It wasn’t until maybe 2014 or so that I started posting more.
So, there you have it. Tater was born from my love of tater tots and my inability to stop talking about it.