Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Car Names and Arch-Nemeses

Living in Provo again has its pluses: I'm back to my old barber who I know I can trust, dollar scoop night at Baskin Robbins guarantees fresh ice cream due to the high amount of traffic it gets, and cost of living is low enough that I can finally afford having a car again without feeling like I'm going to break the bank!

I'd been doing some research online for a few weeks prior to moving and had a general idea of what I wanted: a reliable car that will last a long time and get decent gas mileage. Not much different from what most people seek, I would think. Once I landed in Salt Lake last Thursday, I knew I wanted to get mobile as fast as possible so I could move to my new place and be independent again, so with the help of my dad I managed to get a decent deal on a car the very next day!

The new ride is a 2006 Nissan Sentra SE, with only 22.5K miles on it. This little guy should last me a while. And the best part, in case you can't tell from the photo, is that it's BRIGHT YELLOW! (A daylight picture would probably show this even better, but the only time I have remembered to snap a few shots was last night in the Smith's parking lot.) I never thought I'd own a car this color, but the mechanics of it seemed to be great and I figured that, heck, you're only a young, single bachelor (hopefully) once and I might as well have a little personality in my automobile.

And I'm already seeing the benefits! I went shopping at Wal-Mart on Saturday and had to park clear on the opposite side of the parking lot, almost at McDonald's. When I stepped out and had to remember which row I parked on, it took me about 2 seconds to see this bright yellow bumper barely sticking out. Yellow FTW. *cough*

In addition to the awesomeness of its color, the spoiler on the back has proven its worth in the few days we've been together. I was driving down I-15 the other day when I thought to myself, "Man, this 4-cylinder engine is really wailing! My old Lumina would have been about ten feet off the ground at these blazing speeds!"

Now let me make one thing clear: I've decided to NOT dub this car "The" Sharkmobile. It is certainly A sharkmobile and can be referred to as such, but I wanted to give this one a different label so as to separate it more from its predecessor who, in the end, gave me more grief than I'd anticipated.

One thing you have to know about me, though, is that I'm generally opposed to most people's naming schemes for cars. Firstly, it's odd that we feel this need to properly name our vehicles at all, as if they're our children. Secondly, most people I know tend to give their cars real-people names that are generally feminine, like "Barbara" or "Pam." That's weird to me, too. A car name should represent something unique about the car itself and, if using an actual PERSON name, should not be a name you would actually expect to hear on the street anymore. Here are some good examples of car names I've grown to approve:

-"Myrtle": JKC's car in college that his grandma gave to him. It was definitely an old lady's car and it ran like a prune, getting you to where you needed to be but about ready to die at a moment's notice. We were hoping that another roommate would get an old man car-counterpart that we could name "Baxter."

-"Lola": My sister's car, named such because, during its first long drives with the CD player on shuffle, it favored Barry Manilow music more often than any other variety.

-"Kiff": Cabeza's car. The license plate letters are "KFF," leading to this natural allusion to the hilarious "Futurama" sidekick, as well as many Zap Brannigan quotes.

Bearing that in mind, I present to you my car's new title: Professor Zoom! I imagine most readers won't immediately catch that reference. The explanation is as follows:

The Flash is my favorite superhero. His costume color scheme, as pictured, is solid red with a white circle and yellow lightning bolt comprising the icon on his chest. The Flash's arch-nemesis, the Reverse Flash, also known as "Professor Zoom," has an opposite color scheme: yellow base with a black circle and red lightning bolt comprising the icon.

Now, I'm not one to promote supervillainy, but Professor Zoom is a tragic figure who had a life that handed him nothing but disappointments. Of course, this is all to OUR benefit, because the results of said life have led to a lot of great Flash storytelling and character development. So why not repay him just a little for his hardknock existence?

I even broke in the car's new attitude by trying to establish its "wicked"-cool personality right off the bat: the first songs I played on my drive home from the dealer were "Tribute" by Tenacious D and most of the new Offspring album, which is about as bada** as rock can get. The stereo system ate it up (including the subwoofer in the trunk that was included)!

The name fits well -- the solid yellow body and black interior of my car are very reminiscent of the Reverse Flash. All that's missing is a little red, which should be fixed within the next few weeks as I am custom designing a Reverse Flash insignia to place on my rear window. All the closet nerds in Utah Valley who end up driving behind me will be eating their little hearts out.

Oh, but if your name is Barry Allen, you better watch out. I'm pretty sure my car plans on killing your fiance on your wedding day.

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