Besides a canoe and a paddle, a cooler is the next most important item needed for a successful float trip. A cooler holds your food, and more importantly it holds the beer. After all, who wants to drink warm beer on a hot summer day?
With such importance placed upon a cooler, take the time to get to know yours. What brand is it? What features does it offer? Does the lid flip over to reveal drink holders or a serving tray? Is it well-insulated? Does it have a drain hole or wheels or a collapsible handle? Every cooler—even those mass produced—is unique in some way.
A well-maintained, mid-priced cooler will last for several years, providing good service and many, many happy memories. The truth is that you and your cooler will probably spend more tailgates, picnics, float trips, parties, and barbeques together than you’ll spend with the wife, kids, or friends. While the family may opt out of certain get-togethers, the cooler never says no. Think about it. You know it’s true.
With this kind of relationship, it’s imperative to give your cooler a name. By doing so, you make it an individual in a sea of coolers. Saying, “Get me a beer out of the blue cooler” leads to a series of questions. “Which blue cooler?” “The tall one?” “Is it the one on wheels?” “Is it this little one?” Say instead, “Get me a beer out of Amy J” clearly identifies which cooler. Amy J is unique.
Naming a cooler creates a bond like that of a family member. A named cooler is more likely to be cared for and kept clean. A cooler with a name is also less likely to get lost or left behind. “Where’s Bobby?” is not a search for a kid, but becomes a hunt for a lost cooler.
Take time choosing a name, making sure it fits. Sometimes, the name presents itself immediately in a flash of inspiration. A red cooler becomes Cherry Bomb or perhaps, Melissa—that red-haired girl you liked when you were in third grade. Other times, finding a suitable name may take longer. Maybe the name is that of an ex-boyfriend who sat around full of beer himself. Naming a cooler after him may redeem the name and give it a pleasant connotation after all these years.
If your cooler is full of wine, perhaps it’s an Italian cooler. Name him Fredo. If it’s always full of Dos XX or Coronas, maybe its name is Pancho. A cooler of Dutch Heinekens may be named Waldger whereas a cooler of German Lowenbraus is dubbed Wolfgang.
Whatever name you choose is totally up to you—the cooler’s owner. Choose something you like because this is going to be a long term relationship with lots of adventures and memories.