Gnawman is the handle I use on the dating site. There is a little story surrounding my choice of this name.
A number of years back, a little rat found its way into into my parents’ house and chewed a raceway of tunnels through the chipboard cupboards in the kitchen. For a month at least we never saw him and obviously couldn’t catch him.
One Saturday evening we were chatting in the TV room and down the corridor the little fellow strode, nose all twitchy and quite proud of himself. We raced to catch him but he dashed behind a large sideboard through the tiniest of tiny gaps. Quite amazing to see how narrow they can make their bodies when they need to.
After grabbing a trout fishing net and executing some hefty muscle-man sideboard manoeuvres, we manage to coax him out and into the net. I popped him in an ice cream tub and drove him down to the Umgeni River where I let him free. I named him Gnawman.
There is a wry postscript to this story... The following day I open the Sunday paper and there on the front page was a picture of a woody stalk immersed knee-deep in the Umgeni with a large rat dangling from its beak. Poor little Gnawman. One last night of blissful freedom before scuttling off to meet his maker.
Of course, based on the timing, that obviously wasn’t Gnawman. Still, it was rather ironic I thought.