Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Behind the Name

My father built an indestructible bookcase in our basement playroom. It was tough enough for my sister and I to climb from toddler years to adulthood. As soon as I could read them, the titles of the hardcover novels fascinated me. Sometimes I would climb just to read the spines. My lifelong love of reading probably owes something to those sturdy shelves.

One of the titles that mystified me for years was Have Gat -- Will Travel (by Richard S. Prather -- though I didn't pay attention to authors back then.) What the heck was a gat? I had no idea, but if you could travel with it, it must be pretty exciting. Eventually I worked out that a gat was a weapon and years after found out it was short for gattling gun. In the meantime, my imagination wove stories around that title and those of other books nearby, like Is Paris Burning? Well, was it? And if it was why? And The Guns of Navarone... where was Navarone? What was it like?

I eventually read The Guns of Navarone and several other books by Alistair MacLean, but I could never bring myself to read Have Gat -- Will Travel. I was afraid the story wouldn't live up to my imaginings.

So, that's why, when I needed to come up with a title for this blog, I wrote: "Have Laptop -- Will Travel."

Cheers - The Word Slinger

1 comment:

  1. Prather was more interested in being funny than were most "tough private eye" writers. I'd recommend him for that reason, since I tend to enjoy comedy.

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