Have you ever named an inanimate object? (Your car? Your laptop? The volleyball that kept you company while you were stranded in the ocean?) Share the story of at least one object with which you’re on a first-name basis.

When my kids were teenagers, we bought a Chevy Geo for the first one, then it got passed down and down and down. Because the car was bright turquoise, it was named Turkey. GeoMy oldest daughter was the first driver. One day she was about to make a right turn on red into the street the school’s on, and was obviously watching the lights and traffic more than the car in front of her. She must have assumed that the driver had turned, because she advanced, but the driver decided to stop. Crunch Number One. Fortunately the damage was minimal and we paid the other teen her damages to keep it off of her insurance. Don’t remember how Turkey fared. First daughter went to college, bought her own car to commute (we lent the down payment) and Turkey went to daughter #2.

Unintentionally, she went through a yellow-turning-to-red light, and was T-boned by a very large GMC type SUV, and Turkey had a long stay in the body shop. The good news is that no one in either car was injured. The car was nearly “totaled” in insurance terms, but just under the limit, so it was repaired. It was never the same.

Child number three, a boy, was the next to inherit the car, and I think a bit embarrassed by it. To his credit, he never had an accident, but he did end up having to replace parts which seemed to fail at a fairly regular rate. I don’t know what the body shop put in there, or how unresolved problems affected it, but things that should have lasted longer didn’t. Let’s just say the car was no longer loved. It fact it received little respect verbally.

Daughter number 4 didn’t have the pleasure of driving Turkey, because by that time she inherited daughter #1’s car, a Ford Escort. Turkey was traded in for a new Honda for #1, which had over 200,000 miles on it before it collapsed.

Number 2 also bought a new car for commuting to college, a Mazda Protege which is still running (just) 14 years later. It now lives on the west coast (we’re on the east coast).

The moral of the story is to be careful what you name things because they might just turn out to be what you call them.