What’s in a name?

Way back in March, in my first topical blog post, I mentioned that while at the GZ of our first find we became stumped on what to call ourselves and quickly named our team Howard_Family.  I can’t tell you enough how much it irked me that we didn’t think up some awesome name for our team PRIOR to our first find.  Not that I’m upset or embarrassed by our team name, it has served us very well these past 13 months and 421 finds.  But during the GeoBash, every time we introduced ourselves, I felt a pang of regret in our name.  Here I am, meeting people with names like Pink Pearl The Eraser, Flash_Burn, StepNFetchIt, and countless others, Howard_Family just wasn’t cutting it.  It lacks pizazz, creativity, and wittiness.  It’s Go-Bots compared to Transformers.  Toasted Rice compared to Rice Crispies.  Deep Impact compared to Armageddon.

Cyndi must have been feeling it, too.  During a cache run, she mentioned to me that we should think about changing our name.  I guess for a while the girls have been complaining about not really feeling like a part of the team because their last names are different than ours (I’m their stepfather for those who don’t follow).  I’ve never wanted to have them feel excluded, so this obviously broke my heart.  So the brainstorming sessions began.

One of the “traditions” that we have established since geocaching is a little phrase we mutter when we find a cache.  Since shouting “Found it!!” would arouse suspicion from nearby muggles, we’ve co-opted the celebratory “gotcha” phrase “Bazinga!”, uttered by Dr. Sheldon Cooper on ‘The Big Bang Theory’, our favorite show.  In some of the pictures you’ll find on our site you’ll see me in a Bazinga! shirt in the style of The Flash.  So our initial idea was to name our team with some sort of reference to Bazinga.  Unfortunately, we’re not the only ones who have thought of this as there are currently over 30 names with some sort of Bazinga amalgamation.  One of my main requirements for our new name was to keep it as short as possible.  Howard_Family is already a stretch and on some logs becomes rather burdensome to write on some of the nano logs, so I wanted our name to be easier to write in either of our shorthands.  None of the team names using Bazinga that wasn’t already taken did much for me.  Bazinga Cachers runs into the territory of being too long.  GeoBazinga just sounds silly and would more likely require an explanation to those unfamiliar with the show.

So after some back and forth, and several weeks to stew on it, the topic of changing the name came back up on our way to meet Cyndi’s mother and boyfriend (hoosier hooligan) for lunch.  We had the girls with us this time so we were able to get their input.  During this brainstorming session we all started settling on the theme of the Minions from Despicable Me.  I am a huge fan of this movie.  I didn’t expect it to be very good but it has a lot of funny parts and is quite quotable.  The Minions make the movie in my opinion as they add a cute slapstick element to it.  Plus, you can’t go wrong with alien creatures who speak in gibberish.  The girls really liked this so we started tossing out ideas on this.  Naturally our avatar would be a picture of Minions and we could possibly have some fun with it, taking pictures of Minion figures at the GZs and posting them with our ‘Found It’ logs.  Then it came to the name.  While Minions are a more-common-than-we-thought theme, we were able to secure a name.  Ladies and gentlemen, please allow me to introduce our new team name:

Geo Minions

I’ll admit it’s not the flashiest of team names, but it is unique and it gives us a lot more room to do more fun things with it.  Plus, the girls now feel they are a part of the team and since they came up with the Minions theme, they have a real personalized mark on the team.  And already we have several things coming up to celebrate the new name.  First, as I mentioned before, we’re working on acquiring some Minion figures that we can then customize to include in the logs of our finds.  They will also become our mascots that will travel with us to the different events we’ll be attending in the future.  There is a cacher in our area that is known as CECIL-EGCM that caches with a stuffed monkey who’s sole mission in life is to conquer the world, one Geocache at a time.  So why can’t we do something similar and have some fun and make a name for ourselves in this game?  The next thing I plan on doing is sending out a TB with a Minion attached to make the world aware of our name change (not really but whatever…just need an excuse to launch a trackable, really).  And the final plan is to hide a cache in memory of our old team name.  I can’t think of a more fitting tribute to our former name than to hide our first cache as a memorial to it.

Categories: Random talking | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. Great post! And I love your idea of shouting “Bazinga” when you find the cache. I’ve wondered about calling out a “Got it!” with muggles around — terrific idea! I was actually driving to go caching yesterday and the car in front of me had a vanity license plate that read BAZINGA, which I immediately took a picture of since we were at a stop light. Love that show, too! 🙂

  2. I’ve seen a vanity plate online. I was actually contemplating purchasing one for the Geo Minions Transport Vessel but since we’ve started prettying it up with Geocaching decals, I think we’ll end up with something related to that instead.

    As for the “Found it!” phrase, feel free to co-opt it if you like it. Since most of our cache runs are in urban settings, we needed to make sure we had something that would cause a brief stir amongst the muggles but not pique their interest in what we’re doing. A “Got it”, “Found it”, “Aha”, or “There it is” would cause the uninitiated to want to see what we found after we’ve left and there would be a good chance for them to take it or trash it. I’ve heard stories of cachers who have happened upon a cache and then watched in horror when a muggle found it after they had got back to their cars and took it out, like it was something meant for them. While a camo-ed pill bottle or Altoids tin aren’t something to get too upset about, I have seen some really neat custom-painted containers in our adventures and if I had been the person to hide it I’d be devastated to know that a muggle without a care in the world took my container to do who knows what with. That’s also why it’s taking us so long to hide our first cache. I am very particular about what I want and the last thing would be for one that could easily be found by a muggle and pitched as trash, regardless of the stickers alerting them to what it is.

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