Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tony Who?

I’m often asked where the name Tony Aroma came from (and by “often,” I mean at least twice). For the answer to that question you’ll have to ask my parents, Estelle and Sergio Aroma. Just kidding. And before you ask, the name is in no way related to the similar-sounding name of a popular chain of rib joints.

Actually, it came from an old friend who used to use that term to refer to a certain medicinal herb. It’s just one of those countless code names that I’ve heard over the years. But it’s always been my favorite and also, coincidentally, one of the few that I thought sounded good as a pseudonym. And just so you don’t think I made a hasty decision, I did consider a number of alternative code names that I’ve used or heard.

I thought using Mary Jane might be a little trite, not to mention the fact that I’m not a girl (as far as you know). And of course referring to myself as Bob Marley might cause some confusion and possibly litigation. I was afraid that calling myself the Assassin of Youth, although kind of cool sounding, might send the wrong message to younger or more sensitive viewers. Other terms I found equally inappropriate for various reasons. I also considered and rejected the following: Reefer Man, Muggles, Wacky Tobacky, Alice B. Toklas, Aunt Mary, Doobie Brother, Bogart, Acapulco Gold, Don Juana, Fatty, Green Goddess, Smokey McPott, Jolly Green, Juan Valdez, Lubage and/or Doobage, Mighty Mezz, Panama Red, Puff the Magic Dragon, Square Mackerel, Sweet Lucy, and the White-Haired Lady. What do you think? Did I make the right decision?

Oh, and if you’re wondering if you might be that “old friend” from whom I appropriated my name, you very well may be. In fact, you probably are. He (or she) has to be somebody, so why not you? If not you, then who? And if it is you, I hope you don’t mind me using your code name for my pen name.

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