Secretary of State Roger Williams is still mulling over the issue of how candidates should be listed on the gubernatorial ballot, and Kinky Friedman is requesting that he be listed by nickname only.
Friedman's campaign general counsel, Blake Rocap, wrote Williams to say Friedman has gone by the nickname since he was a freshman at the University of Texas in 1962.
"He signs his name Kinky Friedman, he introduces himself not as 'Richard Friedman but people call me Kinky,' but as simply Kinky," Rocap said. "He has recorded and released ten albums, published twenty-six books and countless articles have been written about Kinky Friedman or published under the byline Kinky Friedman."
Rocap said state law does not require the nickname to be used in conjunction with a given name. Rocap also rejected a suggestion by Williams that Friedman could have legally changed his name.
"Exalting this sort of technical form over substance would be a waste of the court's time and serve no purpose but to show an obstinate inflexibility and blind fealty to your original interpretation of the statute, no matter how erroneous," Rocap said.
I stood at the window outside the Crafts Corral and noticed that Eric had a new assistant. She was bending over the kiln, and from where I was standing behind her, she looked like she was going to be a big boost to a lot more than just the handicrafts program. She seemed to have been delicately formed on some celestial potter's wheel.
"Pam's from Oklahoma," Eric said, following my gaze.
"I'm Richard Kinky 'Big Dick' Friedman," I said by way of introduction. "And I never met a Pam I didn't like."
Pam had short blond hair and green, partly cloudy eyes that seemed to cut into me like dust blowing across the barren landscape of my soul.
"What's the 'Big Dick' stand for?" she said.
Where was I? Oh, yes, nicknames. I suppose I don't care too much if he's listed as Richard "Kinky" Friedman or just plain Kinky Friedman. I doubt it really matters. I'm tired of this silly story, which like just about everything connected to Friedman's campaign is consuming way more news cycle space than it deserves. Does SOS Williams need another six weeks to make up his mind? Could he maybe have been thinking about this while he was verifying all those petition signatures, or is multitasking too much to ask?
As for the other prominent alter ego in the race:
Williams has not made a final ruling on the use of Friedman's name or that of another independent candidate, Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, who wants to be on the ballot with the nickname "Grandma." Williams has questioned whether that is an attempt to get her campaign slogan, "One tough grandma," on the ballot.