When I was growing up in Parkdale, our neighbourhood was, except for one girl, Norma, free of females of my approximate age. There were probably a dozen boys of my age. This made for a rather testosterone-fuelled environment. In fact, it was common to hear that the boys were going to go to Ginger McKay's tractor junkyard and break some tractors, or that someone stole their mother's smokes and people were going to meet at the back of the park (down by the manhole) to smoke them.
I say 'common to hear' because I seldom took part in such events. In fact, there were three of us, me and my two best friends, who chose not to go along with most of these deviant activities. As a result of our non-conformist decisions, we three were dubbed 'The Fairy Gang'. I suppose if they were a more literate group, they'd have called us 'The Faerie Gang'. This didn't necessarily cause rifts or divisions amongst us, the kids of the neighbourhood. We all got along pretty well during times when they weren't off causing havoc. We all played baseball, football together. We all played huge games of neighbourhood tag almost every summer night, and street hockey most every other night. We all got along well. It's just that we three were sometimes referred to as "The Fairy Gang."
Being upright and moral kids, we kind of embraced the handle, even though we understood the underlying implications. In fact, in later teenage years, when some of the kids upgraded their deviance to more serious vandalism and petty crime, there were some of the other kids who started hanging out more with us. They became unofficial members of The Fairy Gang.
One day, we were all playing football in the back field. It was the perfect field for playing football. A large rectangular, empty field of mowed grass that was contained within the center of our block. It was basically the field that was in back of everyone's back yard. On this day, I was relegated to blocking and blitzing duty. I wasn't pleased about this. I wanted to be a receiver, my usual position, but for some reason, I was blocking and blitzing.
Begrudging my position, I played half-heartedly, to the dismay of my team-mates. At one point, my lethargy and lack of effort caused me, instead of blitzing, to absent-mindedly pick up buttercups or dandelions. Of course, this behaviour was incongruous to a lineman on a football team, and it didn't go unnoticed by Moe, the boy who was built like a tree trunk. He called me 'Nature Boy', and naturally, the nickname stuck.
So, here I am, Nature Boy of The Fairy Gang.