Sunday, September 10, 2006

'Car Queen'

This car shop sign caught my eye as I was driving by it the other day. I can't decide if there's something odd about naming your shop 'Car Queen', or if there's something odd about me for thinking it's odd. I don't think I'd want to buy a car, or get my car fixed, at a place called Car Queen. Gentle readers, do you think I'm a little sexist, or even homophobic for feeling this way?
And some of the cars they had? Well, I can't imagine your typical hetero-guy --and indeed, if you ask anyone, "Hey, what's that Kyklops guy like?", they'll tell you staight out, "Oh, you know, he's a typical hetero-guy...")... Anyway, I can't imagine your typical hetero-guy wanting to get behind the wheel of some of the cars they had for sale at this place. I mean, really, a Honda 'Life Dunk'? Isuzu's 'Mysterious Utility'? Mitsubishi's 'Delica Space Gear'? And the list goes on: from Toyota there's the 'Nadia' and the 'Gaia', and Mazda has the 'Bongo Friendee' (I hope I never see the day when I say to my friends, "Hey, let's hop in my Bongo Friendee and go downtown to watch the girls!" [shivers]).
[Note: Readers from outside Japan can verify that I'm not inventing these car names here and here. Readers in Japan know the horror all too well...]


  1. WOW. Without the link evidence I would not have believed you.

    Ever heard of Haruki Murakami? My local paper is touting him as the contemporary master of the short story.


  2. I'm familiar with the name, but I'm afraid that I don't know any of his stuff... From what I gather he is highly regarded and may be a bit more accessible to Western readers than other Japanese writers...
    I have to confess that in the last several years I've read very little 'serious' literature. These days it's all SF for me, sprinkled with some popular 'academic' stuff (Steven Pinker, Jared Diamond, etc...). I also have to pretend to keep up with what's current in TEFL-related research.

  3. I refer you to my learned friend matt ( who lives in Notting Hill and actually DRIVES an imported Bongo Friendee. A yobbo recently smashed the front side window and he had to wait 6 weeks for a replacement from Japan.

  4. Er, yeah, the Bongo Friendee... I gave that as an example of a cool car, right...?

  5. Hi typical hetero guy (this is hilarious) :)

    Come on, give in to your feminine side, I know deep deep down you would just LOVE to drive a "delica space gear" it's so poetic:)

  6. Hi Maliha,
    Actually our family car is a 'Wish' made by Toyota. Again, not something *I* would call a car... The car I use for going back and forth to work is a compact 'Wagon R' by Suzuki. Now there's a sensible, dare I say, manly name for a car, evoking images of the 'wagoneer', cowboys, and the wild west.
    What...? Brokeback what...? Dohh...!!!

  7. Hi K,
    you took the words out of my mouth...brokeback indeed! :)

    the closest i can relate to was my first car...a little adorable thing called "aspire" (by Ford). I had to change its transmission the SECOND year after purchase...and henceforth my friends declared it "aspired to be a car" :)

    ah well, it did take me places, can't complain much:)

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  9. To me, 'Bongo Friendee' sounds like the brand name for a masturbation tool.

  10. Heh, yeah Chez, I can picture that one, er... in an abstract kinda way...

  11. Well, in England the term 'Bongo Mags' is an admittedly obscure reference for 'Jazz Mags' (or a magazine of ill-repute). So a Bongo Friendee is therefore...

    We Brits like to be inventive with our euphemisms. My personal favourite is to 'Take Captain Picard to Warp Speed'.