Saturday, August 15, 2009

Ceterum censeo ....

As a child I was thoroughly indoctrinated by German Fear-TV, which is why to this day I'm unnaturally suspicious of things and situations other people merely find odd.

Example: This here camper van, which has been parked on the same spot on the lot of our local supermarket for weeks now. Day and night, night and day. We walk by it every time we go grocery shopping:


Thanks to the enduring influence of "Ganoven Ede" (rogue Ed), Eduard Zimmermann, whose serene voice and tales of murder and rapine haunted my childhood, I am convinced that this vehicle has not been dumped by the owner out of spite for not being granted the Abwrackprämie, but is likely to have been accessory in a crime. Either it contains robbery-ready tools or it is full of rotting body parts (start at 6:55 for gruesome footage) packed tightly in blue bin liners.

But that's not really the point I was going to make. Rather, I wanted to talk about the ... interesting name that car maker VW gave this particular model of holiday home. You can actually see it in the picture: "Carthago Malibu".

Savour it: "Carthago Malibu".

Car-tha-go Ma-li-bu.

I admit that I find this combination of terror and frivolousness slightly disturbing. Of course, "Carthago" sounds enticingly exotic, Carthage being in what is today Tunisia, but heck - don't these gearheads know that the city is no more and hasn't been for a long, long time? It was destroyed twice: by the Romans after the Third Punic War (before Brian) and then again in the wake of the Muslim conquest at the end of the seventh century c.e.

Carthage is, essentially, ruins.

What a creative, inspirational - and utterly stupid - moniker for a motor vehicle, especially one promising tourist adventure. Perhaps, though, the name is a bit better than your average Prius or Escort (though the latter at least has a certain alluring ambiguity). In fact, so intrigued have I been by this name, that it has generated the idea for another fabulous new party game.

The rules are simple: Combine the name of a site of bloodthirsty slaughter and total destruction with one that evokes fun, fun, fun in the sun, sun, sun. I'll start you off with a few suggestions:

Passchendaele Paris Plage

Hiroshima Bondi Beach

Stalingrad Sylt

The rest is up to you.

4 comments:

Kris said...

I like the idea of the Tannenberg del Sol.

headbang8 said...

Abwrackprämie = Carthago delenda est

J. Carter Wood said...

Excellent. Both of you....

The Wife said...

Kris - you win!