I think seedling 178 was the first seedling of the NOID magenta to bloom, though the second to get a blog post. Not that you could tell it's from the NOID magenta by looking at it: it looks like all the 'Caribbean Dancer' x NOID peach offspring that we're all pretty tired of by now. That said, it isn't bad, just treading some pretty well-trod ground. So let's just get to the naming.
The four candidates I cam up with this time were: Dusty Springfield, Lulu's Night Off, Saltwater Taffy, and What About The Love.
Dusty Springfield is, of course, the singer/producer. Her name was previously considered for seedlings 106A and 033A, but was rejected in favor of Jaws of Elmo and Clueless, respectively.1 Perhaps the third time will be the charm.
Lulu's Night Off is one of the suggestions I've taken from my big list of random word combinations.2 I don't know who Lulu is, I don't know where she works or what happened on her night off that would be worth commemorating in a seedling, but I sort of like it that way. Make up your own story of Lulu's night off and leave it in the comments.
I don't see much Saltwater Taffy around, though the Menards in Iowa City always seems to have some somewhere. I like it, and the colors often overlap Schlumbergera blooms, which are good enough reasons to consider it for a seedling name. I could see these colors showing up in orange or strawberry taffy.
And finally, What About The Love, after Amy Grant's song of the same name,3 which was one of the songs I linked to a while back, and which I like mostly as a reminder that, whatever it's become recently, it wasn't that long ago that Christianity was about things besides abortion, gays, confederate flags, and killing the infidels.4
Kind of a depressing reminder, granted, since it also reminds me that that's not really the public face of Christianity anymore. And even in the past, loving one's neighbors was sort of . . . unevenly applied, let's say. But what it was once, in small pockets, it could be again, more universally. In theory. It's enough to hang a hope on.
So. I guess What About The Love is a bit too depressing, in that context. Also it's the longest option of the four, which counts slightly against it. So I'll let it go. And although I like Dusty Springfield (more so now that I've just watched a video for "Son of a Preacher Man"), both times this season that I've included a real-life person in the name candidates, I've gone with the person.5 Nothing wrong with that, but it feels a little predictable, and I'm also leaning pretty hard toward people for some of the yet-to-be-decided seedling names. Maybe I'm overthinking this, but I don't want them all to be named after people. So I'm going to drop Dusty for a third time. Sorry, Dusty.
So we're left with Lulu's Night Off and Saltwater Taffy. Of the two, I think I like Lulu's Night Off better, specifically because it's both more specific (refers to one particular event) and more open-ended (free to imagine any particular event). Plus having a night off is generally seen as a good, happy thing. Therefore: 178A Lulu's Night Off.
2 Which is where a lot of the names have been coming from this year, though it's not always obvious because it turns out that randomly throwing words together generates the sorts of things people already say and ideas people already have, a surprising amount of the time. Like 020A Feet Of Clay was a random-word idea, and I'm pretty sure 077B Bad Reputation was as well.
Sometimes the random word combinations generate appealingly strange mental images too, which I've been collecting in a separate list. Some of them:
Jabberwocky Musical (which has, of course, happened already) • Uterus Gun • Expanded Milk (presumably the opposite of condensed milk) • Kitten Chapel • Bottle-Blonde Baby (I bet it's happened) • Moondial (as compared to a sundial) • Clogged Bagpipes (bagpipes do get things in them from time to time, sometimes with fatal consequences, even) • Tiara Repairman • etc.
3 It was written by Janis "At Seventeen" Ian, not Amy Grant, but it was written specifically for Grant to perform, and Grant's version is the one I'm most familiar with, so.
4 Well. I suppose infidel-killing has been a running theme for quite a while. But the others are new.
And yes, one could certainly argue that that's not what it means even now, that it's still about feeding the hungry, sheltering the stranger, clothing the naked, caring for the sick, and visiting those in prison, that it's still something that you could call "good news" with a straight face.
Yessir, one could definitely argue that.
But I wouldn't.
5 (211A Bruce Lee and 203A Dolly Parton)