Let’s meet again for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers with another name for just one day, what would it be and why?
I’ve always been happy with the name Christine, and that my parents have never shortened that to anything like Chris or Chrissy.
There have been nicknames throughout the years:
- Lil’ Bouge – My older sister, Michelle, was called The Bouge by friends in her teenage years. I was referred to by these same people as Lil’ Bouge.
- The Bouge – When I moved from St. Catharines to Toronto, “The Bouge” became MY name. People who knew my sister would be in shock. “You can’t call her The Bouge, that’s Michelle’s name!” Variations on my last name include Bouge, Bouger (with a soft “g,” spoken with a hoser accent), and Bougeroo.
- Monkey – Age 15-17.
- Whiskey Bidnasty – When I was 23, my friend Peg renamed me Whiskey Bidnasty. This was probably the truest alter I’ve had. It was my “Hulk” when Christine Bougie was my “Dr. Banner.”
- Poutine – Joanne MacKell‘s nickname for me.
- Heher (pronounced “he her”) This is what Ali calls me. You might recognize that this is similar to the name of one of my songs.
- Flicker – John McDermott likes to call me flicker. (Bougie means candle in French)
If I have to choose a new name for myself, it would have to be a superhero name.
When I was around 7 years old my mom made me a Super Christine costume for Halloween. Black tights. A big “C” sewn on the chest. Dracula cape. Plastic sword in a holster on my belt. One of those Robin eye masks.
What does this say about me that I always want to be a Super version of myself?
Maybe I’ll try this out tonight at the bar. “Hi, I’m Super Christine. Nice to meet you.”
(photos by Ali Eisner)