Monday, July 27, 2009

Foreign Models

Back in the seventies, my roommate was looking to buy a used car. He found one that suited his pocketbook, and arranged for the owner to bring it over, so my roommate could check it out.

The car turned out to have been manufactured in the owner’s country of origin, the former country of Czechoslovakia.


It was called a Skoda.


Since I have no aptitude in areas concerning how cars work, I set my mind to other issues. Issues that don’t matter. Like the car’s name.


“Over here,” I begin, “we often associate cars with speed and sleekness. We give them speedy animal names, like Mustang, Cougar, Jaguar. What does Skoda mean?”


Not entirely fluent in English, the Skoda owner explained by example.


“You know, when your friends’ boat sinks. Or his dog runs away. You say to your friend, ‘Skoda.’ You’re saying to him, ‘Too bad’, or ‘I’m sorry it happened.’”


“That’s what Skoda means? ‘I’m sorry it happened’?”


The owner nodded “yes.”


"And that's what they named the car?"


It was.


My roommate passes on the Skoda.


You may not need your car named after an animal that runs fast. But who needs a car named for an unfortunate turn of events?

3 comments:

Emil said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emil_%C5%A0koda

Mike McCann said...

A few Skodas were imported into the US in the early and mid-'60s but didn't make much of an impression. Another long-lost Euro make of the era was the Isetta -- remember the super-tiny bubble car whose front end was the front door? You NEVER see one of those around. The only reason I recall it was that someone parked theirs on a street I walked en route to Jr High School.

nspeacock said...

A man drives his Skoda into a mechanic's garage.

"I'd like a rear-view mirror for my Skoda."

The mechanic looks at the man. Looks at the Skoda.

"It's a deal, but only if the tank's full."