I’m Johanna “Jonnie” Wilder (credited as “Jonathan Hart Eddy” in The Onion Staff Box). Back in the day, people used to call me me Jonnie. Or Jean Clau, Claude, Edwina, J-Hart, Kaye, Jingle Jon, Mike Evans, or Tony Ramirez.
I introduce myself to noways to folks as just plain old boring “Johanna”.
I was recruited at an early age to Onion Night on a chilly September evening in 1988 and forced to toil in a fake-news factory at a secretive location in a small midwestern town. I was lured in by the seductive sounds of torch-song jazz combo emanating from the State Street Center on the way home from a Narcotics Anonymous meeting and popped in to be assaulted by a sloppy-drunk Chris Johnson pimping Tim Keck’s girlfriend in exchange for ongoing Thaumaturgy Services. I graciously accepted and — after waiving the girlfriend offer — was informally pronounced “The Nicest Onion Staffer”: a title which I still hold today.
I was raised by a single mother who raised four kids as a bookkeeper; later, she married a good and decent man who managed a series of Sears department stores across the central Indiana district. My birth father — who suffered adverse childhood experiences and as a result exhibited severe chemical dependence throughout his adult life — sold mainframes for IBM and wrote software for insurance companies and refused to buy his children shoes on the principle that “they just outgrow them”.
I left the cornfields of central Indiana to seek fortune in Chicago, learn graphic design and layout, and produce coffee shop ’zines for my community of skateboarders, emo kids, and Northwestern University students. Fleeing that gnarly scene I ventured forth with the intent to form a witch coven in Madison with some other Wiccans I met on the train they call The City of New Orleans as we were headed to the 1987 World Convention of Narcotics Anonymous.
I am a Purdue University Computer Science and Creative Writing alumni, but did not graduate due to disagreements with the faculty on the marijuana-smoking and mandatory-classroom-attendance polices. I enjoy crafting strings of hyphenated adjectives and long bike rides around the Puget Sound.