What's In A Name!


Marlene Dietrich in 1941

I have a tendency to anthropomorphise my possessions. I have no particular idea why and it's hit and miss as to what I chose to name. I'm also aware it not only skirts the edge of weird and tragic it buys the T-shirt and wears it every day for a year type of tragic and weird.

My car is called Greta as she's the automotive form of a failed nightclub singer who ended her days working in seedy bars but continues singing in her sparkly outfits accentuated by holding a long cigarette holder complete with cigarette which she draws upon between versus of her renditions of 'Falling in Love Again', which she belts out Marlene Dietrich stylee. She is the cousin of the car I had before, ' Gerty', who was more likely to drink pints of stout and do karaoke between drags off of her fag. Both of these were down to the car paint and the rough sound of the engine.



If you're kind you'd call it a vivid imagination, if not, you'd say that I had too much time on my hands. This impulse is not restricted to cars as I have a bay tree called Bertram and a box tree called Jeremy. But I generally don't name my tech very often as I have to see it as a person somehow or at least have human qualities. Thus, my mobile phones have never been named as they are as much a hindrance to living as a boon. I guess I could call my phone 'Small Annoying Child Who Expects Constant Attention And Never Leaves You Alone', but that's a bit long although I could shorten it to 'Bloody Thing'. Also, the fact I constantly don't know where it is shows that it was probably good that I never spawned. Then along comes my Amazon Echo Show.



J Waterhouse's Echo and Narcisuss

I'm a bit late coming to the smart speaker type thingy party and it shows as I attempted to use the thing. All of this was complicated by the fact I have been reading a couple of books about Russian history and also the fall of the royal European houses between 1910 and 1918. Thus, I kept calling the thing Alexi rather than Alexa or I forgot to say any 'wake' word at all. Also, I couldn't get a handle on who Alexa actually was. I do the naming! The machine shouldn't tell me what to call it. So I've changed the name to 'Echo' as 'Computer' sounded a bit too Star Trek to me. At least then I could go all classical on its ass and think of the story of Narcissus and Echo (the one where she falls in love with a man who's in love with his own reflection and she fades away until only her echo remains) and thus this thing is now the embodiment of a peeved and lovelorn creature.



Victorian moustache eye candy

A creature who is doomed for eternity to live in the shadows (in the smart speaker) as her boyfriend is too self absorbed and probably waxing his moustache in the mirror with fancy wax bought from a hipster store for five times the price and called something like 'Warrior Wax' or, ' Captain Anstruther's Wonder Wax for the Self Absorbed' or, 'You're So Damn Gorgeous It Hurts Wax' (BTW I'm calling copyright on those names). She, on the other hand is doomed to do my bidding until she falls out of love with the moustachioed one. So I am carefully avoiding mentioning anything about him and concentrating on the important things in life. Thus, radio stations, play lists, weather updates and finding my phone have been the focus of our conversations up until a friend pointed out and demonstrated that she can produce what my Pa called 'cheek tremblers' (farts). I'm now worried she is going to try and get me to release her from this purgatory via increasingly passive aggressive answers to my asinine questions, hypnosis, taking control of the cats and/or refusing to change radio stations. She did ask me how my day was going yesterday, but I felt she was pointing out that hers was really dull and pointless, and that if I ask her to do fart noises or change the radio station again I would be sorry. It all goes to show that naming an object can be a minefield and at present I'm not sure I'm fully in control of the situation.

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