In Case You've Wondered

My blog is where my wandering thoughts are interspersed with stuff I made up. So, if while reading you find yourself confused about the context, don't feel alone. I get confused, too.

If you're here for the stories, I started another blog:

One other thing: sometimes I write words you refuse to use in front of children, or polite company, unless you have a flat tire, or hit your thumb with a hammer.

I don't use them to offend; I use them to embellish.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Saltines and the Periodic Table of Elements

Don't let the title confuse you. It will all make sense, when you reach the end.

Honda makes a car/mini-van/something or the other called the "Element". It looks better than it originally looked, but it still looks like a saltine cracker box, with a clear coat, wheels and some pin stripping. It's popular, because I see many of them around.

I've thought about the name "Element", and wondered what element the designers had in mind.

I don't think it was hydrogen. Hydrogen is light, has the potential for great amounts of power, and is number 1 on the table. While I'm sure the designers like to think of their product as number 1, a quick survey wouldn't find the same reaction with car enthusiasts, when given "Element" in a list of favorites, which includes Jaguar, Mercedes and Royals Royce.

Helium? Nah; that's an inert gas; and inert isn't what anyone wants as a description of their car.

Copper might be the element, but I kinda doubt that. It tarnishes and is thought of as what pennies are made of, which they aren't any longer. Pennies are made of zinc, which is cheaper than the amount of copper required for a penny, which is more than a penny of copper. I know that makes little sense, but this is my post and I can wander from subject, to subject, at will.

Gold comes to mind, but gold is heavier than lead, expensive and thought of as an investment. I know some might think "That's exactly what they were thinking. An Element is like gold; a long term investment." I doubt that. It's not a long term investment and pretty silly to expect anyone with a little sense to think otherwise.

Plutonium is radioactive, used in bombs and not a good selling point for an automobile.

There are 109 elements on the periodic table of elements. That's a bunch, and I could write that many chapters about each to expound on why I don't think it's a good choice for an element to use in reference to a saltine cracker box with wheels. That's why I'm thinking the name came from someone hung over, without a clue of what they were doing, panicking because they spent the weekend partying, instead of working on their sale pitch, and they had a moment of inspiration, while their boss eyeballed them like a heron standing over a frog. They probably received a bonus; and pissed it away on a weekend of partying.

One passed me the other day on the interstate. I had the cruise control on 75, and it was probably going about 80. I was impressed, but a little worried. Until I took an exit, all I could think of was finding it was caught by a gust of wind and tossed to the shoulder like a trash can lid in a thunderstorm; the driver and passengers looking confused as they tried to figure out how to turn it back over.


  1. According to Klick and Klack, The Tappet Brothers, on NPR's Car Talk, the element was 'buttuglium'.


  2. I never thought of associating the Element with the Periodic Table, my brain just attributed it to the general meaning of the word, as it is one 'element' of something. It is the element of your life that provides transportation in the ugliest way possible.

    As automobile names go, it's nowhere near the dumbest in my opinion. Just for example, I could never own a vehicle called a Probe, how that one passed any kind of consumer panel is beyond me. The Bravada just smacks of self adulation, as if you're driving around thinking, "Oh, Bravo for me, I have a uselessly expensive, big SUV." Then there's the Escalade, did they think about what escalade means? To mount or scale as with ladders in a military attack. Some how I doubt anyone buying a Cadillac SUV is interested it using it in such a manner. My money is on the possibility that they misapplied the language thinking of 'escalating' their auto line to include over priced, luxury SUVs. And Prius just sounds too prissy even if it didn't have the reputation of being smug.

    1. One of the worst selling, derided automobiles was named after Henry Ford's son Edsel. I've wondered if the name had much to do with the problem, since it's not a common name.

      Prius will probably be the subject of a post one day. With their power supplied by hamster wheels attached to a dynamo, they attract people that have more money than sense.