Spot the Bug

Alison Morris -- March 4th, 2008

I drive a silver 2002 VW Beetle, which I’ve dubbed "The Notorious B.U.G." (or "Buggy Smalls"). For brevity’s sake, though, I often refer to "her" (I believe my car’s a girl) as "Nory" which is sort of derived from "Notorious" but really just reminds me of the beloved main character of Nicholson Baker’s The Everlasting Story of Nory, whose comic adventures remind me not to take Boston drivers so seriously.

Why am I telling you all this? Because while my B.U.G. may have a superior name, it has indeed been bested. By whom? THE ERIC CARLE MUSEUM OF PICTURE BOOK ART!! They’ve got their own Bug for museum outreach purposes, and it looks like this:

How great is that?? Oh, for a car that looked this fun! (Or at least for a car with a left front hubcab that does not fly off at the mere sight of a pothole….)

The Bug-related info. on the Eric Carle Museum’s Web site says: "The next time you Spot the Bug, send an email noting the date, time, and location… to receive a free Family Pass to the Museum and the chance to win other great bug prizes."

I think this is a great idea, but I do admit to being shocked that a museum concerned with the education of young children is actually encouraging violence. YES, encouraging violence!! I say this, because as the driver of a Bug I can tell you that kids haul back and punch one another when they see me driving by or stopping at a light behind the family wagon (more often an SUV these days). I have watched countless children’s mouths form the words "Punchbug silver!" a half second before someone in their posse gets walloped. Yes, it is a sad (but rather entertaining) fact that we Bug drivers are the cause of many a bruised sibling.

I don’t know if the museum Bug bears a moniker other than "the Bug" but it’s easy to see why they wouldn’t have wanted to dub it "The Very Clumsy Click Beetle" or pattern it in that fashion. My last car (before Nory) was called Nancy, after Nancy Drew and Nanci Griffith (whose music played often on my car stereo during my college days). What about you? Does your car have a name? (And if so, do you know what that says about you…?)

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