It seems that Zen masters have pet names for their students. The television version of this is the name “Grasshopper.” This was the name given to the student by the Master in the classic adventure TV series Kung Fu.
In the Way of the Peaceful Warrior the student is called “Jack.” This was a shortened version of his longer name: Jackass. Zen masters have a sense of humor and sometimes use what would appear as demeaning ridicule with their pupils. My father did the same.
My nickname was Stu. Sometimes I was called Stuart, but that wasn’t really the long version. My dad was alluding to another version of Stu: Stupid. That was his equivalent of “Grasshopper.”
“Hey, Stu. Come here.”
“Why is the screwdriver stuck in the front lawn?”
“I was working on my bike.”
“Well, Stu, that’s not where the screwdriver belongs.”
“A place for everything, and everything in its place.”
“Don’t be sorry. Go put the screwdriver away.”
* * * * *
Napoleon Dynamite is a fictional Zen master. His pet name for his disciples? “Idiot!”
Zen masters are patient, but sometimes they are annoyed by slowness in their pupils.
Besides, screwdrivers will rust, break the mower, or trip Zen masters, but only if Stu is careless and leaves them in the yard.
Eventually, I outgrew the nickname.