Jan 16, 2007

Why A Girl's Name?

The naming of vehicles is a fairly common pastime, isn't it. I'm always pleased and surprised at the number of people who name their vehicles.

And naturally, the naming of vehicles is a serious matter, it isn't just one of your holiday games; you may think...no wait, that's "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats." Sorry.

I've heard many different axioms concering the naming of vehicles. I've heard that an automatic transmission car is a man because it's easy, and therefore a standard transmission car is a woman because of the difficlty. I've heard that you sex a vehicle after you wash and dry it the first time: if the vehicle continues to drip after it's been dried it's a woman, because it's retaining water. And foremost, I've heard that vehicles, specifically boats, are given women's names by their male owners because they're always very expensive, difficult to maintain properly, give you problems when you least expect it, and the two happiest days in the relationship are the day you first obtain it and the day you finally get rid of it.

Me, I've been a long-time vehicle namer. I started out with my 1985 S-10 pickup, the one with the 10" wide tires riding on 50 series Cragar S/S rims in the back. That beastie carried the moniker "Wretched Excess." Those same tires landed me in a ditch full of floodwater one spring afternoon after hydroplaning better than any of the Miss Budweiser boats. My current truck, who only gets used when the weather is inclement carries the name "Rainy Day Rita." I've even infected Mrs. Irrelephant with the habit--her new metallic blue CX-7 crossover SUV is "Babe The Blue Ox."

My bikes have always carried names, in the same way that WWII airmen named their aircraft. A B-17G carrying number 3952-N is cold and uncaring, but Memphis Belle and Miss Behavin' will always get their aircrews home safe. In that spirit, I've ridden "The Kricket," my dark green Yamaha, and my long-ago restoration project, a 1984 VF 700 was serial number "001300," therefore becoming "Lucky" almost immediately. After that I began using the WWII motif, naming my bikes after women in my life who have been memorable enough to leave scars.

I took the name "Strawberry Bitch" off a B-24 Liberator and attached it to two red Honda bikes I owned; the first SB was a V-45 Magna, and years later my red VF-R was "Strawberry Bitch II," and carried the maiden name "Miranda," since I drove her so hard I was certain that was the rights that I would be hearing when the cops finally caught up with me.

My newest bike, the Midnight Edition Roadliner is, pretty unoriginally "Black Betty." Ram-a-lam, eh? And truthfully, thus far my ladies have kept me safe and relatively abraision-free, which is more than most of my lady friends have managed to do for me. It's a strange superstition, but it's one that I find not only harmless but very enjoyable.

So tell me--what do you call YOUR proud steed?


Stucco said...

My Vanagon was Rolf. None others have merited names, although I think the Ford truck probably deserves it.

Vulgar Wizard said...

My Toyota Tacoma is "Mini-Me" because it looks like a smaller version of one of my husband's friend's Ford truck . . . you know, except for the make and model. Nevermind.

Irrelephant said...

Rolf? How very Germanic of you, Stucco! And if pressed to it, what would you christen the Ford?

VW, I don't think I knew that, but yeah, I get the picture. *s*

Nancy Dancehall said...

My cars have always suffered from gender identity crises. My first car was a male possessed by a female. The speedometer howled when the temperature dropped, so it was named The Banshee.

The second, my grandma's car, was Milo, as in "Let Milo open de doe'." Peter Townsend. You had to be there.

No car has merited a name since, unless 'You fucking piece of shit' counts. That was the Nissan the stranded us in the mountains.

Scott from Oregon said...

Rolf is the name of one of my oldest friends with one of the biggest penises known to hang... It figures, Stucco would name one of his vehicles after HIM.

I had an 84 Nissan 4wd I called "cat" because of how many lives it had-- (340,000miles, plus the year the speedometer didn't work...)

It died blocking Jim Plunkett (Quarterback, Raiders... Superbowl... Hello?) in a parking lot at a boys club and four All-Pro lineman from the same era got behind it and pushed me out of the way...

I could have swapped out the carb, but I figured it was the perfect ending to a great truck.