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Even though half a decade has passed, sometimes I still get recognized from the CD store today. Just two weeks ago, I was at a lunch with some friends of my wife. One guy recognized me. “Do you still work at the CD store?” he asked as I said hello to everyone. He was an old regular. Not all regulars still recognize me. An older gentleman, Charles, my best classical customer, didn’t recognize me when he bought classical discs from my garage sale last summer.
Today, I tend to get recognized not for my face but for my name. Rather, my nickname: LeBrain.
I never mentioned how that handle came to be. After winning my umpteenth 4 O’clock 4-play on 107.5 Dave FM, Craig Fee dubbed me with that name. “Mike Ladano and his massive brain…his massive LeBrain!” The nickname stuck, and that is how I became LeBrain. Next thing you know it, we had an entire “Stump LeBrain” week where I guested at the station for a week, and a full month (“LeBrainuary”) of my own 4-play quizzes.
I was first recognized in person by the owner of the local UPS store, while picking up a parcel. “Are you that guy from the radio?” he asked me. Turns out he was a fan. He’d listened to all of LeBrainuary in his store.
I was also recognized by some of the younger chaps at Sausagefest, who thought my voice was familiar. “I know that voice…is that LeBrain?” they said.
I buy a lot of stuff off eBay (you’ve seen much of it here on the blog!), and the girl at my local post office now knows me as LeBrain. She is always excited when my parcels come in. “What’s in this one?” she’ll ask.
“Oh, that one is a rare Maiden 12” single,” I’d say.
“Cool! That’s awesome!” One time, she knew one of my parcels had arrived immediately, because the seller had put a Kiss sticker on the box. I walked into the post office, and she said, “I know which parcel is yours!” with an excited tone in her voice. She explained that she heard me on radio earlier as LeBrain.
So, to Post Office Girl: Sorry, I don’t even know your name. I would like to dedicate this blog to you, and my 15 minutes of fame!