In a bit of breaking news that’s sure to rock the world of anyone who attended an American middle school between the years 1998 and 2007, AOL announced Friday that it’s shutting down American Instant Messenger on Dec. 15.
I had an embarrassing AIM screen name during middle school. You had an embarrassing AIM screen name at some point, too. Admit it, because you did.
These are the SB Nation staff’s AIM SNs. Please add yours in the comments.
ketchupkid101: Matt Ellentuck
I really frickin’ loved ketchup, and I still do.
wasabi666_2002: Ryan Simmons
Surely we all remember Budweiser’s seminal late ‘90s ad campaign in which revelers would greet each other with progressively ridiculous variations on “Waaassaaaaaap?!” One of these took place in a sushi restaurant, and it was through this particular spot that I discovered what “wasabi” was (“wasaaaaaaaabi”) and decided then and there it was the substance I would use to define myself online for the next four years or so. I added 2002 to mark the year, and 666 because generic demonic nonsense is eminently cool to 15-year-old boys.
falconsplayer10: Jessica Smetana
In 2002 my second-grade travel soccer team was the Falcons and I was No. 10. JSSOCCERGURLxoxo was probably taken, but that wouldn’t have been my style anyway.
P.S. Who lets a second-grader get AIM?
P.P.S. I am not an Atlanta Falcons fan, sorry.
wildchar1: Charlotte Wilder
My last name is Wilder, and my first name is Charlotte. Wilder is an adjective (not sure if you guys knew that), so I just dropped the “er” and put it before Char, which is my nickname. Then I added a “1” because someone had already taken wildchar, and I didn’t know who they were or where they lived, so I couldn’t hunt them down and make them give it to me.
buzzo84: Alex Kirshner
I really liked Buzz Lightyear. More pressingly, I played hockey for a team called the Hornets. I unearthed the most creative way to fuse these two passions. I joined AIM in sixth grade and was quickly informed that “away messages” were the way to make girls flock to me, so I impressed with passages like “do not have a gf.”
KurtFChavez: Kurt Mensching
When I asked what my nickname is for my college newspaper’s online profile, a co-worker shouted ‘Chavez!’ Apparently I had a poor attempt at a goatee like Oakland A’s third baseman Eric Chavez did at the time. I kept it.
gnome33: Seth Rosenthal
My birthday is March 3. I liked gnomes. I later changed it to stayfree303 because I liked The Clash. Now it’s just an abbreviation of my name because I like being a boring loser.
LittleMissOhio25: Jeanna Thomas
I dated a guy who lives in Los Angeles for about three years in my mid-20s, and I lived in Ohio. His friends all called me Little Miss Ohio, which is not a terribly creative nickname but is a classic embarrassing AIM screen name. For what it’s worth, they all had awful screen names, too.
Vvombat: Ryan Nanni
As an 11-year-old, I apparently liked wombats. (Did you know a group of wombats is a “wisdom”? Well, now you do. You’re welcome.) But “Wombat” was taken already, so clever me decided to go with the most brilliant internet trick available: TWO CAPITAL Vs THAT COMBINED TO LOOK LIKE A W.
Except I apparently messed it up and put a capital V followed by a lowercase one.
whitDAWG3121: Whitney Medworth
My first AIM name was hooplvr11 which honestly is fiiiiiine. But then of course I had to go and change it. Everyone calls me Whit so that part can stay, but why I needed to add the DAWG at the end is really where it goes wrong. “Dawg” was pretty common slang in 2002, but it’s just cringeworthy now. The No. 31 was also that of Jayson Wells, a player you’ve never heard of at Indiana State University. I can’t tell you who wore No. 21 and why I chose that number because that is a secret that lives on AIM and only on AIM forever.
SportzDude77: Harry Lyles Jr.
My first AIM screen name was SportsDude21. I don’t know what made me switch it up, but clearly I thought I needed to spice things up, replace the s with a z, and add 56. Young Harry didn’t have a lot of method to his madness.
HPDrifter128: Louis Bien
I liked the Beastie Boys a lot, particularly the song “High Plains Drifter,” and 28 was my number in soccer. I wrote about what an embarrassing goober I was in middle school once if you’d like more information.