I grabbed a few items at Wal Mart today. The process was particularly hellish because I went during the day, which is when Wal Mart’s aisles are the Pageant of the Trans-Mundane (the freak show), mostly people who are so fat they and their scooters are too wide to navigate the store when it’s full of other people, but also angry loners, the unemployable, alcoholics during their few sober hours of the day, and so on.
I started unloading my cart on the conveyor belt when I saw my cashier’s name tag: Tarna.
I asked her, “Were you named after the heroine at the end of Heavy Metal?”
She smiled a bit and said, “My mom loved that movie. You’re the first person who ever asked me about it.”
Most of my readers are old enough and nurdish enough to know this movie, but for the few who don’t know it, Heavy Metal is a feature-length cartoon in episodes that are tied loosely together by a central theme. It was created for, and probably by, horny teenagers who like dick jokes, loud rock anthems, and super-hot heroic chicks in red and black leather outfits who save the Universe.
The super-hot chick in Heavy Metal is Taarna, the last of her race, who is summoned by elders of a land under siege by marauders under the power of an evil force, a green orb called the Loc Nar. Taarna is the kind of woman one expects to see on the cover of teen comic and graphic novels. Taarna arrives in the oppressed land riding a bird/dinosaur who ends up being a hero as well.
I saw Heavy Metal in the theater in 1981. I was 18, which I am guessing Tarna from Wal Mart is today.