As a writer, I often ponder the names we give things – and recently, given the shit state of the world, it’s been the names of bombs, missiles, weapons systems and the like. I don’t know if you’ve ever paid them much attention, but the names fill me with the same kind of fear normally reserved for 1950s public information films. That’s Big Fear, people.
They’re so Wagnerian, so Old Testament at high noon. Take our Trident nuclear submarines: ‘Vanguard’, ‘Victorious’, ‘Vigilant’ and ‘Vengeance’. Their names are kind of echoey in a last resort, millions-of-people-are-going-to-perish kind of way. Still, I suppose the names are fit to task, after all, one couldn’t have ‘Varicose’, ‘Vagrant’, ‘Vagina’ and ‘Viagra’. They simply don’t instill The Fear, although the last does convey a certain sense of purpose.
But some weapons names are scary because they’re so understated. Think ‘Little Boy’ and ‘Fat Man’ that were used in World War II to bomb the Japanese towns of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Horrid.
Then there are names that are scary because one suspects they were made by 12 year olds on a ‘bring your kids to work’ day. Names like ‘Thunderbird’ (a British ground-to-air missile), ‘Popeye’ (an Israeli air-to-surface missile) and ‘Green Cheese’ (a British nuclear anti-ship weapon).
So, I had a think about what names would be more suited to our times. I felt they should be more widely relatable – names for an age where a whole nation rose up and declared that it didn’t want to be part of Europe, its geographical continent. Names that truly say, ‘we, the people have spoken, and we’re going to put the kettle on now’.
So, my little oligarchs, here they are:
- ‘Nigel Farage’s Underpants’ – this would guarantee total obliteration, obvs.
- ‘Patrick Swayze’* – for when you want to woo your enemy a little, and then kill them.
- ‘Stick This In Your Pipe And Smoke It’ – because a gentle insult isn’t wasted in a thermonuclear situation
- ‘Fuck This Shit’ – for when you know you should wait for UN approval, but can’t be arsed (see Britain vs Iraq, 2003).
- ‘Can I Get A Whoop Whoop’ – hey, if you launch it, you’re gangsta. Allow it.
- ‘Yves Saint Laurent’ – yes, weapons deserve a couture designation; there’s a lot of work goes into them.
- ‘And Stay Out’ – because shouting often precedes war.
- ‘Told You Twice’ – for states that just don’t learn.
- ‘Monday 09.00hrs’ – traditionally the time for losing the will to live.
- ‘Brexit’ – completely right for continental-wide disaster, and the scariest of them all.
*RIP. Always loved.
© G-vons 2016