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Whats in a Name?

If you’ve ever wondered how our trucks get named, then read about the process in this email from Oasis crew, Iain and Steve.  We thought it was funny so thought we’d share it with you!  (Girls, this is blokes being blokes but I’d recommend continuing past Jessica Rabbit!)

What’s in a name?   6 degrees from Bart Simpson

Naming an overland truck is a big responsibility. You want it to last, and to suit the truck’s personality. We took this responsibility very seriously, and started out by setting a few ground rules. We decided there and then that we had always held the belief that truck names, as boats, should be female. We also hoped for something vaguely African and with a story behind it.

Oasis Overland's newest overland truck

We had been given a starting point by Jason the driver who helped build her, and that was to have something Simpson related as we have Bart Simpson on the license plate and on the truck keys. This got us thinking about Simpsons characters, which led us to our favourite Simpson, Jessica:

We thought about her for a while.

It wasn’t long before Jessica Rabbit entered the debate:

We thought about her for a while.

We both promised to do as much internet research as possible on these two characters. There was a fair amount of confusion about whether Jessica Simpson, aka Daisy Duke (another potential name?) was (a) an actress, (b) a singer, or (c) a cartoon, in particular she seemed to have the same breasts as Jessica Rabbit.

Anyway, potential conspiracy theories ensued, eventually culminating in the position that she was in the same category as Miss Rabbit, Smurfette and Betty Rubble, i.e. maybe not a real person, but if you could….

So Jessica Simpson was step 1, Jessica Rabbit step 2, and logically, step 3…. was Jess the dog, from Footrot Flats:

It took many hours for Steve to explain to me that my antipodean cousins do not only watch Prisoner Cell Block H, Neighbours and re-runs of MacGyver. He assured me that a popular Kiwi cartoon would be understood by all, and I think (though I must admit I dozed), recounted many of the episodes so I could fully understand the hilarity in calling the truck Jess.

Step 3 Jess was the best we had felt so far, as a good name, and our logic had been beyond reproach. So we let this sit with us for a while, and considered other options.

Step 4 confirmed we were onto something with the letter J. We had known for some time that with the truck being speed limited to 87kph, that we could never reach the elusive 88kph, and thereby are grossly inhibited from being able to go Back to the Future to rescue Marty’s girlfriend Jennifer:

Step 5 was a simple acknowledgement that with Jason the driver (another J) having started us down this path, and with our logic undeniable even by Steven Hawking, that we knew only one thing. We had to start with J.

Oasis Overland driver Jason

Step 6 and our conclusion came about almost by accident. We knew the naming ceremony was planned for Johannesburg very soon. As a group we tried to find flaw in the logic thus far, but couldn’t, and although we all agreed Jess was close we knew we were missing something. During the ensuing discussion, the slang name for Johannesburg, Jozi came up. And well it was like the light of a fictional deity shone through the clouds and blessed our stupidity, and the truck Jozi. From that moment on the crew and group just accepted the name and started using it conversationally. A short week or so later and we’re in Johannesburg, chilled champagne and tin cups in hand, and we held a small but uncivilized ceremony to officially name her, bless her and all those who sail in her.

Official truck naming ceremony!

Admittedly we might have taken the maritime traditions a bit far with the champagne bottle to the windscreen, but what the bosses don’t know can’t hurt them. *** checks email TO list *** Doh!

So, Jozi it is!

We do still call her Jessica sometimes, but only when she’s very very bad.

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