Name My Car!

Skylon, my most excellent Spaceship, and I have come to an amicable end as a couple. I got custody of Karl. Skylon got custody, unintentionally, of my first aid kit, which is somewhere in its copious storage space. It was time to part ways… my rental contract was up and, quite frankly, Skylon needed a couple new tires and an oil change.

So I bought a car… not as crazy as it sounds. I checked out various backpacker car markets, places where tourists who’ve been driving a beater all around the country try to sell it to someone wanting to do the same thing. The markets I went to in Christchurch (there were a few) were scary… like something out of Oliver Twist, only motorized. I found myself washing my hands a lot after taking a few vehicles out for a test drive, or just shaking the hands of the guys on the lots. Ick.

I tried an online site similar to CraigsList and found what I was looking for (Subaru Legacy wagon with all wheel drive and some semblance of maintenance). After agreeing on a price (I think I got a decent deal), I handed over the money and drove off in… uhm… well, that’s the problem.

I believe in naming cars. I think it fosters a good working relationship between owner and inanimate object called upon to get one from point A to B without killing anyone. I just can’t come up with a name I like for this one.

I’d like it to be from Lord of the Rings, and if it were white I’d name it Shadowfax or Snowmane, but it’s silver. I toyed with Stormcrow, but that didn’t sit right either.

So… any suggestions?

For the record, He Who Has Not Been Named has so far done okay by me, some 600 KM into our relationship. He handled well in the snow (yes, snow!) I encountered driving over Burke’s Pass, near locations used as Rohan in LOTR. He starts up without complaint on the below-freezing mornings (yes, it’s technically spring here in New Zealand, but I’m in the south of the South Island) and gets adequate gas mileage. Plus there’s plenty of room for all my stuff.

My car was built and driven in Japan before emigrating to New Zealand and being owned by the wife of a race car driver (!) who did all the maintenance himself with his pit crew (his buddy). I thought this was a good thing (hey, at least he had it maintained, unlike some of the heaps people were trying to unload in the car markets…) until his wife mentioned that he was really looking forward to finishing a racing season for the first time… as all his previous seasons had ended prematurely when his cars exploded.

No worries… I had it checked out by a mechanic before I bought it.

The former owners also were smokers but I went to Lush in Christchurch and kvetched about it a little and they gave me a free full-size spray bottle of their Go Green air/human/car freshener, so now my ride smells of grapefruit, vetivert, tarragon and bergamot… mmmmmm, I love Lush.

Alas the chicks working there had no suggestions on what to name the car, either. It’s up to you, my peeps. Holla.

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4 thoughts on “Name My Car!

  1. So, how about Bill – a good serviceable pony who starts out a bit worse for wear, but exhibits a penchant for survival and a dislike of sketchy local thugs?

    I think Felarof is just too geeky, and perhaps a bit high falutin for a utilitarian vehicle?

  2. “Shadofax they called him. By day his coat glistens like silver, and at night it is like a shade, and he passes unseen.” FOTR, “The Council of Elrond.

    The name of the Prince of Horses might induce performance anxiety in your Legacy wagon. Which I’m sure is a fine car, btw… perhaps just calling for something more modest.

    Stybba was the grey hill pony that Theoden King gave to Merry Brandybuck. That seems perfect: sturdy and utilitarian, a snowy hill climber but smaller than the other trucks and SUVs. And its most famous rider got it secondhand!

    Also for consideration: Windfola was the grey mount of Dernhelm at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. But he was a little unreliable: “…until the shadow came, and Windfola had thrown them in his terror, and now ran wild upon the plain.” You can’t blame him, but maybe not the best omen.

  3. I misspelled Showdowfax above. And on second thought, passing unseen in the darkness sounds like a good trick to have in your bag.

  4. all good (no, great) suggestions, but i think bill is the perfectest of them all for so many reasons. that said, i wanted to get a bit fancy so i gussied up the name with a bit of Tolkien inspired make-words-up creativity. i give you bill, nebelsbane!! (with a triple umlaut thingy over the “i” in bill, just ’cause… nebel is german for fog, which bill and i have seen a lot of). also, i really like that nebelsbane sounds a lot like nibble, a word i enjoy saying almost as much as macadamia or violaceous.

    thanks, sam!

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