I mentioned that I went to see Bruce Springsteen at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry recently, with an old friend called Maxi. Now, Maxi is not his birth name, but is what he is commonly known as, although once upon a time – and still to some people – this is a contraction of Two Pizza Maxi. Here’s the story…
I’ve known Maxi for many, many years. We went to school together, and shared a house at university for three years. As we were living in Belfast, many of our friends would come to stay with us for nights out, or to go to gigs. We have been going to gigs together for over twenty years, and in student days, this was quite a common occurrence. The reason that Maxi is known as such is that his surname is Maxwell. One of our friends – known as Face, a long story – asked why he was called Maxi.
Maxi replied, “because my name is Maxwell”.
“Maxwell? What’s your surname?”
“Maxwell Utterthwaite? That’s a bit posh, isn’t it?”
“hmmm”, as Maxi nodded in agreement.
We collectively forgot about this little ruse until sometime – a year or two – later when Face and another friend, Smout – and equally long story – came to stay over as we were going to a gig for the evening. As we left our house, Maxi was finishing off a twelve inch pizza, his favourite food by far. To put it in context, this is the chap who was asked to leave a baked potato emporium for demanding pizzas. He was young at the time. We went to the gig, and on the way back, Face remarked on Maxi’s posh name. We were not sure how posh “Paul” was, and were somewhat confused until Face reminded us that Maxi was short for Maxwell Utterthwaite. We tried to explain that this was a joke based on the then current Last of the Summer Wine character Seymour Utterthwaite, but to no avail. Face was convinced that Maxi was Maxwell Utterthwaite.
We got home, to find Maxi with an empty twelve inch pizza box. Face and Smout were amazed that such a svelt chap could have polished off a second large pizza by himself in a single evening. Maxi claimed – and maintains – that it was simply the empty box from earlier. No one else was convinced. Hence, Maxi, or Maxwell Utterthwaite, became Two Pizza Maxi. Whilst the “Two Pizza” bit may have fallen into the vageries of memory for most, to Face, he is still Two Pizza Maxi.