Friday, August 19, 2011

Hamchunkles? In which I have an identity crisis.

I may have to rename this blog.

Ham Chuck's the one on the right.
I just found out from a good friend of my father's that my dad's nickname for me, Hamchuck, is actually taken from the movie The Green Berets. (My dad has confirmed this.) There is a character named "Ham Chuck," (or in some places, "Ham Chunk") a Vietnamese orphan who is taken under the wing of one of the main characters. His journey is not exactly a laugh riot: During this period, Petersen befriends a young native boy named Ham Chuck, a war orphan who has no family other than his dog and the soldiers at the basecamp. As the battle rages, the dog is killed and the boy tearfully buries his faithful companion. Symbolically, the boy uses the stick he had used to dig the dog's grave as the tombstone. As the soldiers rush to their defensive positions, the stick is knocked away, leaving an unmarked grave.

Babies LOVE strung-out Diana Ross.
Jumpin' hot cats in a bamboo steamer! THAT's where my childhood nickname is from? A war orphan whose only family is his dog, who is also killed? Criminey, that's dark. I guess it fits in with other aspects of my childhood: my mom told me that my very first movie, when I was only an infant, was Lady Sings the Blues.

So I've spent all morning trying to figure out if my namesake was Ham Chuck or Ham Chunk. I kinda like Ham CHUNK better, because I instantly had this vision of a combination of the forlorn Vietnamese orphan and the chubby kid from The Goonies. Maybe Ham Chunk would do the Prosciutto Waddle instead of the Truffle Shuffle?

PS- In a Google search for images of Ham Chuck, I found this brother-in-arms:

Someday, perhaps, we shall meet.


  1. Oh Chuck Ham, would it cost that much to go down to the court house and change your name to something a little more like, um, John Wayne? Or keep it close: Chuck Norris!
    Names: kerry Kicks It, Kerry Kicks Ass, Kool Kerry beans, (or like I love Lucy) I love Kerry and Brett?