How Iago (or Fishslayer) Got His Name (Or rather, How His Name Found Him)

In the Beginning...

There was me, and I was good. :) Or is that god? Well, anyways...

Now mind you, my friends and I almost take pride in not being normal. Remember that as you read on.

One day in late 1995 I was sitting at 'our' (meaning the SCA group that I'm a part of) table in the SUNY Potsdam College Union. Also at the table was a good friend of mine, Sharon (SCA- Lady Skya na Ruadh). Others may have also been there, but it is difficult to document now. Having had a rather bad day, I was discussing killing large numbers of people, just because. Also at the table was a pamphlet for college dining services, the cover of which featured a dead fish with shrimp on a plate, above which were written the words 'Important Information inside!'

Deciding to expand my claim to fame, I declared that I had also killed the fish on the cover of the pamphlet. Unfortunately, because Sharon and I are social deviants, we began running with this idea. And hence the Fishslayer was born. It shortly thereafter became public knowledge that I'd killed the fish with the help of the shrimp, who were my accomplices. My motive? The fish was clearly Important, as evidenced by the fact that the pamphlet declared that there was Important Information inside. After all, if the information is important, clearly the fish must be similarly important.

For several months afterwards I was known to my friends as Fishslayer, the Slayer of Important Fish. After all, what proper Fishslayer would slay unimportant fish, right? :)

And so the time came when I began working on a very amateur production of a scene of Macbeth with other friends, namely Portia, Brandon, and a guy named Aaron (I think, haven't seen him since), with Colleen directing.

Now, anyone who knows anything about acting knows that sooner or later people get silly. And so it was that Portia, probably the most dramatic one of us in that particular group, commented that my voice bore a resemblance to Gilbert Gottfried's when I was being obnoxious. I believe she suggested I try saying 'I'm so upset I'm molting!' I did, and it was good. At least good enough for everyone to start calling me Iago, which was not only a rather cool sounding name, but worked very well for a period medieval name (Spanish, meaning James). While I was initially wary of being named after a bird (who wouldn't be?), after seeing Kenneth Brannagh play Iago in 'Othello' I decided I could deal quite happily with the association. He's still the coolest villain I've ever seen. :)

At this point, it seemed only logical to merge my two nicknames, and so I became Iago el Matador de Pesco for my SCA person, which translates as Iago, the Slayer of Fish, or more properly, Iago Fishslayer.

I've recently learned that Iago is also a Welsh name. To satisfy curiosity, I've had it translated- Iago yr Lladdwr o Pysgoden.

You're probably wondering how that's pronounced- Iago ehr hlathOOR oh pisGOden. Gotta love Welsh, eh?

A few months ago, I received my Award of Arms. Roughly this means I'm an 'adult', SCA-wise. In period, it would mean I was now considered a lord. For my persona, being Spanish and all, my title would be Don. So, if you want to call me Don Iago el Matador de Pesco, feel free. :) UPDATE! One of my better friends found a bumper sticker for me- "Fish Tremble at the Sound of My Name" How apropos! :)

Bigger Update!! Probably not very interesting to non-SCA'ers, but more interesting to SCA'ers-- I recently joined an SCA household. While the term has a variety of meanings, for me, in this case, it's a bunch of people I consider cool, and wish to affiliate myself with as a result. In this case, the name of the House is Grey Ledge. Now of course, being the late period Spaniard that I am, length of name is an indication of how important you are. Hence, my new and current full name- Don Iago el Matador de Pesco de la Casa Grey Ledge. Yes, I know it's strange that the Grey Ledge is in English while everything else is in middle Spanish, but I figured if I put the household name in Spanish nobody would understand it, which would kind of defeat the purpose.

But why a newt?

Thankfully, this story isn't nearly as long. At one point back around the same time I gained the title of Fishslayer, Sharon and I were joking as friends are wont to do, and for reasons that I can't immediately recollect, she threatened to turn me into a newt. May have had something to do with her being a pagan (read witch)... and if you don't recognize the reference, seek help.

Later the same day we visited a local petshop. To satisfy curiosity, I went looking for newts, and found them. The newts I found were California newts, with black coloring along the back sides, and black with orange streaking along the front. At this point I confronted Sharon and let her know that if turned into a newt, I would, in fact, get better. I still remember her response- 'You're so cool, Andy.' :) Not a bad thing to hear from a chick. :) And so my not-so-furry form was established.

And what is this about Corvinism?

Glad you decided to ask! :) Corvinism was founded as a response to the growing Portia-ism movement. Portia, in her almost infinite wisdom, had started a religion based on the struggle to become worthy. I, in my more almost-infinite wisdom, analyzed this thoroughly and came to the conclusion that it sucked. After all, who wants to be worthy when being unworthy is both more fun and less stressful? Having decided this, I promptly created a movement centered around the idea that all individuals should strive to be unworthy.

One of the basic tenets of Corvinism is that anything can be placed into one of three categories- unworthy, worthy, and JUST PLAIN STUPID. Unworthy things would be things such as myself, friendship, and Ben & Jerry's. Worthy would include such things as homework, waking up early, and those silly people who follow the teachings of Portia. Are you following me so far? JUST PLAIN STUPID is hopefully the rarest of the three categories, and includes such things as fire drills at ridiculous hours of the morning, meaningless paperwork, and letting your hormones override your judgment.

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