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Celebrity crooner knocks them dead; now name that car

Pam Ridgway is the hands-down victor in the Verse or Worse singer-and-song competition.

Pam Ridgway is the hands-down victor in the Verse or Worse singer-and-song competition. (She can put her hands up now, and stick them into her stunningly gorgeous new MinnPost T-shirt.) Here’s her brilliant pairing of a celebrity and a song title:

Dr. Jack  Kevorkian, “Take My Breath Away”

If you’re thinking “I might have been able to come up with something that good,” or if you’re thinking “I’m sure I could have up with something that good,” or even if you’re thinking “I wonder if there are any cookies,” why not spend a few minutes of a leisurely evening — or of a busy afternoon if your boss isn’t looking — on the new Verse or Worse challenge?

Here it comes (and not a moment too soon):

Earlier this month Chrysler announced that it would be reducing the number of car models it offers. As your genial host tried to remember the names of some of Chrysler’s models (was there an Imperial Throne?) he recalled a brilliant idea of his from a few years ago: Why doesn’t somebody make a car assembled in the United States from 100-percent American-made parts, which could appeal to patriots and folks concerned about saving American jobs? The car would be called the American. And the top-of-the-line model, equipped with every possible gadget and modern convenience and requiring a large mortgage, would be called the American Dream.

Suddenly last week that memory opened before your genial host a whole raft of other possibilities, because other countries surely have patriots and worries about jobs. And that, finally, is your challenge: Give us cars made in and named for various countries, with model names that are truly descriptive — and, of course, funny.

For example, a Scandinavian station wagon made the old fashioned way, with timbered sides: The Norwegian Woody.

Or a German-built car with a very high passenger compartment: The Deutschland Über Alles.

Your genial host usually sticks to one or two fairly uninspired examples, but he likes this next one so much that he’s not going to hold back: A small vehicle that packs a huge engine but disguises its power under a body that looks dull and wimpy. It gets lousy mileage, but in the oil-rich Gulf, where it’s made, nobody would care about that. Oh yes, it’s the Kuwait Pretender.

There must be a zillion of these, but please submit no more than three. Email them to asicherman [at] minnpost [dot] com by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28.

At the stroke of 5:01 your genial host will lower himself (through a trap door in the floor of the MinnPost garage) to begin sorting through the entries. After three days of car-model concentration, subsisting on cardamom, caraway seeds, carrots and caramel, he will emerge, trailing carbon footprints across the carpet, but clutching to his carapace an envelope containing the best five model names.

On Monday, March 3, he will post those five entries, and you’ll have until Thursday, March 6, to vote for the best, which will win that strangely satisfying MinnPost T-shirt.

The winning name will be posted on  Monday, March 10, along with a new challenge.
Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!