So, I was watching Quantum Leap last night and Sam said something like, “Hold on, I’ve gotta jimmy the lock.” I was immediately struck by the notion that “Jimmy the Lock” would be a fantastic gangster name. I mean, wouldn’t it? OK, maybe not for a Corleone, but perhaps for the type of guy featured in Netflix’s word-of-mouth favorite Lilyhammer.
I then decided that I’d try to be clever and come up with other overly descriptive, phrase-like gangster names, but I haven’t done so well. Bill the Room works … I guess … but what does that make his gangster super-power? Capping whatever the plural of “mafioso” is while delivering their room service? Charlie came up with Philip the Tank, which I like. I’m thinking he works around the corner from the boss’s headquarters in a state like New Jersey, where citizens aren’t trusted to pump their own gas. He secretly fills rival gang member’s tanks with sugar or, worse, E85.
When we finally decided to give up on phraseology we came up with Randy the Perv, Bernie the Arson, and John the Guy-Who-Likes-Hookers. Then we looked at what we had and gave up all together. Nothing quite had the ring of Jimmy the Lock. We learned a lesson, too. Some people, despite a few good ideas here and there, just aren’t as clever as they’d hoped.