It is a terrible story. The Story of Nicholas. (as told by Mr. H and his parents)
Mother: One day the boys came home, and they asked if their friend Nicholas could come over and play. I said “who the hell is Nicholas?”
Mr. H: So we pointed out the window, at the kid in the yard.
Mother: I said “Isn’t that Johnny? His name is Johnny. Why are you calling him Nicholas?”
Mr. H: We said “we don’t know.”
Mother: Then I realized– and I said “Don’t call him that anymore, his name is Johnny, call him that.”
Me: I don’t get it.
Mother: He was the only black kid in Acton!
Father: sotto voce, in loud restaurant: Nigga lips!
Me: Oh my God.
Mr. H: I wondered why I’d say “Hi Nicholas!” and he’d hit me!
Me: *snorted Chardonnay out of my nose*
Mr. H: The big kids used to tell the little kids to call him that, and we thought they were saying Nicholas.