God knows, in these bleak, bleak times, we all need a laugh now and again.
So thank you Doncaster council for providing one for us all with the latest ‘naming competition’ to run on the internet - the quest for names for two of their new gritting vehicles, ready to leap into action with the oncoming wintry conditions.
HOWEVER - I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking ‘the idiot public are going to suggest Gritty McGritface 1 and Gritty McGritface 2 and think they’re really funny and you’ve sold me a lie by suggesting that this, in 2017 and post-Boaty McBoatface, is still hilarious when it definitely isn’t’. Well, you’d be thinking wrong since, in their infinite wisdom, the bright spark running the Doncaster council Twitter account pre-empted that from the off.
😱*Puts on tin hat* 😱— Doncaster Council (@MyDoncaster) November 8, 2017
We would like your name suggestions for two of our new gritting vehicles, please.
Keep em clean and be original - we'd prefer not to spend the next few days trawling through responses of Gritty McGritface and Gary Gritter. 🙄 pic.twitter.com/rCH9HneHJe
Now that was safely off the table, the scene was set (the ‘road was cleared’ if you will) for some top drawer gritter name suggestions.
However, it was soon clear that the standard was going to be high, based on Donny’s previous great work:
Don't forget we already have gritters with the following names:— Doncaster Council (@MyDoncaster) November 8, 2017
- Brad Grit
- Gritney Spears
- The Subzero Hero
- Mr Plow
- Usain Salt
Fortunately, the public stepped up to the plate.
As is the way these days, the final decision was to be made via a World Cup system - brace yourself for some cracking finalists:
Next up we have a suggestion from a young boy in Doncaster town centre, playing against one by an actual grown-up.— Doncaster Council (@MyDoncaster) November 13, 2017
One of the most popular suggestions faces off against a national hero.— Doncaster Council (@MyDoncaster) November 13, 2017
Road salt? Our gritting team don't want none unless you got tonnes, son.— Doncaster Council (@MyDoncaster) November 13, 2017
Will another one bite the dust in this crucial fixture?— Doncaster Council (@MyDoncaster) November 13, 2017
Wondering who will win this fixture is going keep us up all night long. All night. All night loong.— Doncaster Council (@MyDoncaster) November 13, 2017
We're going to have to do things differently for our final fixture, because one suggestion is too long for a poll but too popular to leave out. Like this tweet to vote for:— Doncaster Council (@MyDoncaster) November 13, 2017
Gritsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Anti-slip Machiney
Or vote below for:
Wonderful, wonderful stuff. But things took a turn for the unexpected when pop legend Curtis Stigers, for some unfathomable reason, decided to get in on the gritting action:
Have you ever entered a gritter naming competition before??— Doncaster Council (@MyDoncaster) November 16, 2017
The semi-finals saw Spready Mercury, David Plowie, Basil Salty and Gritsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Anti-slip Machiney (seriously, hats off to ‘Natalie’, who up with that one) correctly progress to the final (remember there are two machines to be named).
A live draw took place for the final:
And, as we type, the two finals - between Gritsy Bitsy and Spready Mercury (truly, it’s a tragedy that one has to lose) and Basil Salty and David Plowie - are currently in progress with both too tight to call.
Who will win?
Will Michael Bolton make a last-minute intervention?
Who can predict anything in these crazy times.
But Doncaster residents can rest easy in the knowledge that their social media manager is truly earning their pay, and that, even amongst all this excitement, they’ve not taken their eye off the gritting ball: