Home » When A Story Could Easily Be About A Company Or One Crazy Person: Comment Of The Day

When A Story Could Easily Be About A Company Or One Crazy Person: Comment Of The Day


Mercedes has been in the news for the past couple of days. Mercedes has recalled 447,659 cars, some of them over 20 years old. And today, Mercedes reportedly wants to challenge Tesla’s supercharger network. Sure, we could be talking about Mercedes-Benz the automaker, but for all you know, my brain is sitting on a pile of hundreds of thousands of cars to recall for you.

A common question that I get is if my name is actually Mercedes Streeter, or if I’m writing under a nom de plume. My legal first name really is Mercedes and my last name used to be Streeter. I changed my last name sometime over the past two years to honor my grandfather. But, “Streeter” is sort of perfect for this job, so I kept it for writing.

When I started writing about cars for work, something funny happened. I started looking at headlines with “Mercedes” in them differently. Of course, the subject would be about the automaker, but I’d think about the subject “Mercedes” being a person and I would have a sensible chuckle. At the old lighting site, there were plenty of headlines like this, and sometimes my co-workers would even joke about headlines that sound like I’m doing something. I remember jokingly apologizing for killing wagons after this was published:

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And now, the joke has spread over to the Autopian. Yesterday, Matt published a Morning Dump with the headline: Mercedes Is Recalling 447,659 Vehicles And Some Are Over 20 Years Old

TenuredLurker brought it up first, saying:

Not gonna lie, I read the title and thought “Ooh, Mercedes is writing a long one.” Got my hopes up for the wrong Mercedes.

Drew followed it up with this banger, which had me giggling:

“Mercedes Streeter fondly recalls hundreds of thousands of vehicles. Mostly buses and Smarts.” I’d read that article. The “some over 20 years old” is a given, though.

Today, Patrick published a Morning Dump with the headline: Mercedes To Challenge Tesla’s Supercharger Network

Drew did it again, commenting:

“Mercedes To Challenge Tesla’s Supercharger Network”
Without reading any of the article, I would like this to just be Mercedes Streeter fitting buses with EV chargers and creating her own mobile charging network. Or simply challenging the supercharger network to a duel. She’ll win, since she has the advantages of both mobility and reason.

And total hilarity ensued in the comments, including this one from mrcanoehead:

There needs to be an editorial rule here that things either say “Mercedes” or “Mercedes-Benz”. Every time one of these headlines pops up, I think that Mercedes Streeter sure is one busy writer.

Drew wins COTD today with an honorable mention for TenuredLurker for these fantastic quips. Now that my face is red from laughing so much, I will explain why the heck I’m even named Mercedes in the first place. I wasn’t born with the name Mercedes, but I chose the name for myself almost 11 years ago, and perhaps for a silly reason.

As some of you know, I am transgender. Back in 2012, I was still finding myself and experimenting with my appearance and a bit with my identity. That year, I sold my first car–a 2001 Kia Rio–to CarMax.

Mercedes Streeter

Replacing it was my teenage dream car, a Smart Fortwo.

I still have this car today, but it needs some restoration work. This car meant the world to me, as it was physical proof that if I worked hard enough and if I believed in myself, my dreams don’t have to be limited to desktop wallpapers and posters. This car to me is like a lifelong friend; it has always been there for me, even when I haven’t been there for it. Even as I own 21-ish vehicles today, this car sits right near the top of my list.

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Mercedes Streeter

When the car was still nice and fresh in 2021, it was basically my home base of operations as I continued with my experimenting. I got the car 5 percent window tints so that I could change clothes more or less in private. And I got the optional cargo blind so that I could hide my clothes out of sight. One day, I realized that there’s a chance that I’d just become my “new self.” So, I thought that I should come up with a name. I decided to choose the first name that came to my mind. Then I looked down, saw the Smart badge, and boom, “Mercedes” popped into my mind. As you could guess, I committed to it.

So, yep, I named myself after a car company. And it’s not like I’m the biggest fan of the brand’s cars, just its tiny subsidiary that makes tiny phonebooths dressed up as cars.

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28 Responses

  1. As one person who has watched this ongoing development in real time whilst always hoping for the best despite that catch of doubt…. this little episode is yet another satisfying payoff.

    1. Considering how they raped and pillaged Chrysler’s cash reserves during the time they owned it (1998-2008), I’d say Mercedes-Benz is getting what they truly deserve-pure karma.

    1. “The crash was related to his use of benzos (the drug) behind the wheel of his benzoyl (the car).”

      Let’s go for it. The edge case of talking about drugs will rarely come up and will add some levity when it does.

  2. ProudLuddite says:
    January 7, 2023 at 10:46 am
    “Mercedes To Challenge Tesla’s Supercharger Network” Came hoping for a story about Mercedes Streeter setting a cross country record for EVs in a Smartcar or a bus, left disappointed…”

    I guess I was late to the party, though I hadn’t seen this story or the other referenced comments.

  3. Thank you for sharing that piece of your journey!

    Should “ When the car was still nice and fresh in 2021…” be “ When the car was still nice and fresh in 2012…”?

  4. I just came to say I got my Lumiere Rouge shirt in the mail today (with a bonus bag, decals, and lanyard holder) and I’m proud I bought it before the item became the Ricardo Montelban workaround! I guess I’m limited edition now.

  5. I can’t remember whether it was here or at the old jello picnic, but I recall Mercedes’ telling the story behind her name before, in great depth. I had thought it was a chosen name but had no idea how much deeper it went than the usual nom de plume. Likewise, I’d figured since the Will It Baby? days that Jason’s choice of name for his son probably went deeper than puns and the inventor of the four-stroke cycle or else his wife would never have approved it.

  6. Could someone with more skill than me make a meme of Mercedes(the person) in a Smart car squaring off with a supercharger?
    I picture something like a modern Don Quixote.

      1. I’ve got a workaround to minimize required photo editing. We just need you to hop in a Smart and be holding a lance. Failing that, pose with a lance in front of a Smart.

        Of course, either of those options requires you to have access to a lance, which may not be a reasonable expectation.

  7. When I was young and still waiting tables, I had a manager named Mercedes (from Spain). She was so d***d hot, and now that I think back on it I realize that she was flirting with me all of the time and I was totally clueless.
    Like, you don’t go around telling your subordinates that they remind you of the Archer from the Khalil Gibran poem if you aren’t trying to get in their pants. I was an idiot.

    1. Man, I just read that poem that you’re referencing and I have to tell you that I have… no fucking clue what you’re talking about. The archer is like the life force that just wants to see life propagated, right? I would be very confused if someone told me that.

      Now, on the other hand, a sorority girl in college told me that I reminder her of Ralph Fiennes. That clearly meant she had the hots for me, clearly.

  8. Those exchanges had me chortling.
    I, too, would like to see a qualifier: ‘our’ or ‘Miss’ before, or ‘(not ours)’ or ‘-Benz’ after. Stumbling on that unspecified noun unprepared is sometimes less like tripping and more like how the cat twines among your feet as you totter to the coffee pot: you know it’s not actually malevolent, but you still want to kick something just for a second

    1. Qualifiers? Here? The land of absurd hypotheticals frequently featuring scatological references?

      Where’s the fun in that?

      I’d rather have a site-wide autocorrect bot that erases every single instance of “Miss” and “-Benz” to enhance the fun rather than eliminate it.

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