Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Nom de Van

Yesterday, I received an email from Houston Metro soliciting my feedback about the naming of the greater Houston area vanpool:

Season's Greetings from METROVan!

Our branding process is moving along quite nicely and we would like to ask for your input on some names that keep coming up as potential "brands". We had over 1000 names submitted recently and we want to thank you for your participation. Out of those names suggested, we have reduced them down to nine by a vigorous process of committee meetings, group discussions, and dart throwing.

Before I reveal the 9 potential names, let us recall that these were the the select few culled from more than 1,000 entries.

One thousand.

That's 3 zeros proceeding the number 1 - meaning one more than 999.

Of more than 1,000 entries from vanpool riders and enthusiasts from the fourth largest city in these United States that were "vigorously" whittled down by the good people at METRO, here are the offerings:

Cloud 9 - Huh? Are we selling toilet paper and dreams here or are we slogging huddled masses to and from their places as cogs in the machinery of Capitalism?

Glider / Glide - Call me childish or a product of a hypersexualized society but I'm only thinking about the, ahem, personal lubricant called Astroglide. If this name wins there is a surefire tie in with the city's baseball team: "AstroGlide. Official transport of the Houston Astros!"

Gulf Breeze - Have you ever smelled the breeze coming in from the Gulf? I would liken it more to industrial pollution and eau de offshore oil rig than a balmy salt breeze.

Home Run - If it were called something like Beer Run it might shore up more interest.

ProRide - Keep back 10 feet, Professional Riders at work. These riders have been specially trained to sit on their asses and sleep or look out the window with a vacant stare. Think you have what it takes to be a Professional Rider? Call 713-Pro-Ride.

Star Liner - Makes me want to add the distinction RMS as a prefix. I am also suppressing mild urge to watch Titanic.

TEX - How wildly unimaginative. This makes me think of children who name their dogs things like Pizza or Fish Stick. I guess TEX is the kind of name these sorts of kids come up with when they become adults.

VanGo - I envision mobile works of art, Starry Night weaving through stop and go traffic, Irises making an illegal u-turn, Self-Portrait merging on to I-45, and Chair seated in downtown gridlock.

And finally,

Zoom! - Life as seen through the lens of a comic book. POW! CRASH! BANG! ZOOM!

These are my stream of consciousness thoughts on the subject, but by all means send METRO your thoughts.

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