Just who is The Love Bug? Or more specifically, where did the name “The Love Bug” come from?
Well, it all starts back in the late 70’s/early 80’s when my Dad introduced me to CB radio. He had a CB in his car, and his handle (or nickname) was “Screwball”. The source of that name came, as I understand it, from the game of pool. He even had a jacket with a 9-ball and the word “Screwball” on the back.
Bearing in mind that I was still aged in single figures, I thought it was really cool to have the handle “Dynamic David”. Yeah, I know... how corny is that? But c’mon, I was a kid! Still, it gave rise to such variations as “Double D”. Looking back, that probably wasn’t the most suitable handle in the world, likening me to a large-cup brassiere or a brand of beer... believe me, it wasn’t the worst nickname I ever had as a child!!!
Then, in the mid 80’s, when I was living with my Dad, he set up his old car CB - a Ham International, as I recall - in my bedroom, and we had an enormous - possibly half-wave - aerial on the roof of the house. This, for obvious reasons, prompted me to come up with a new handle... and fast!! So I settled with “Kool Kat”. Man, I even designed a logo for myself, based around a very roughly-drawn cats head... with sunglasses. Damn, that was kool... er, I mean cool.
But it still wasn’t really me, you know?
Again I was very young by this point, probably early teens, and starting to learn more about who I was. As much as “Kool Kat” was an amazing handle, I wasn’t happy with it... and I cannot for the life of me remember why. Typical, eh? So, I started thinking again, and I came up with the name “The Love Bug”. I don’t know why. I know that was the entire point and purpose of this post, but I honestly cannot remember why I settled on that name.
And yet, it was me. At least I felt so at the time.
So “The Love Bug” was born, and became very well known - for all the right reasons, in case you were wondering - in the Aldershot area. I joined the Zulu Lima CB club that was based on Sandy Hill in Farnham, and I had the callsign ZL52 (or was it ZL54?). I took part in the local Fox Hunt (or Transmitter Hunt), where one car would go off and hide somewhere in the local area. They would then give out a clue over the CB (so they couldn’t hide too far away!!) and from that point they would have to broadcast every minute or so, so that the hunters could get a reading on the signal strength. Using this method - which took betweek 20 minutes and 4 hours! - someone would eventually find the “fox” and the game would be over. Depending on the time, we’d then start another one, where the winner of the last hunt would then be the “fox”. Now, this practice was not without it’s hazards. Apart from attracting a lot of attention from the local police, the winner of the hunt would be determined by bumper to bumper contact between the fox and the hunter. As you can imagine, this resulted in a lot of damaged cars, and at least one write-off that I can remember.
But I digress.
Eventually, in the early/mid 90’s, I left the area. Then, in the mid-90’s, I discovered this thing called “Compuserve”. It was (and is no more) one of the first Online Service Providers (OSP) in the UK. It was like a really old and decrepit Facebook, where people could visit forums, surf the “internet” - which was in its’ infantcy - and chat to other Compuserve users on something called a CB Simulator. Like CB, it had 40 channels - or rooms - and people could join the channel and converse, or “earwig” the channel without other people knowing. It was from that the one of the IRC channels that I used to frequent (and even managed for a while) #UK_Plus was derived. Anyway, with the risk of further digression becoming stronger, my nickname on the CB Simulator was “The Love Bug”.
This was effectively the start of my internet persona and online life as The Love Bug. In 2000, I registered the domain thelovebug.org, which solidified the use of “The Love Bug” as my online monicker. If you were to Google search for “Dave Lee”, you’ll find me on page 9 (or page 4 doing a UK search), linking to podcastmatters.co.uk. But if you do a search for “The Love Bug”, I’m the 6th result (or 2nd for UK search) of page 1. Indeed, if you search for “thelovebug”, I’m 5th on the first page, or the first result overall for a UK search.
The internet doesn’t know me as Dave Lee, it knows me as The Love Bug... and I’m happy for it to stay that way.
But that’s not to say that they’re not one and the same. Although they are two separate online identities... they are both me. I don’t wear a mask, I don’t hide behind my identity. I would hope that people who know me would say that I am definitely the same online and in real life.
So there you have it... you now know who The Love Bug is :o)