After years of bitter disappointment, my daughter Grace finally received a GT Snowracer from Santa this past Christmas. Then, after weeks of bitter disappointment, there was finally enough snow on the ground this weekend to use the sweet steerable sled.
Grace was fired up, but only slightly more fired up than I was. After all, I loved my 1980s Snowracer even more than I adored my Green Machine. The GT has got to be one of the most enduringly popular winter toys of all time. Since its invention in the early 1970s, the Snowracer's manufacturer, Stiga, has gone on to produce SX Pro models with BMX-style handlebars for more extreme sledding.
The GT model is the classic, however, and as I watched Grace and her buddies hurtle down the short-but-steep slope at Toronto's Rennie Park it occurred to me that I have no idea what "GT" actually stands for. A quick Wikipedia search reveals that the acronym typically means "grand touring" in the automotive industry, with GT models offering higher-performance engines and more comfortable interiors designed for long trips.
But with its hard plastic seat and gravity-based propulsion system, this doesn't really apply to the Snowracer. So, with Stiga ignoring my voice mails, emails and sky writing, I've developed a few theories as to the origin of the Snowracer's initials:
Golden Trousers: Swedish engineer Erland "Golden Trousers" Wikner is credited with having invented the Snowracer.
Guaranteed Terror: What you get when you put a nine-year-old on a Snowracer and send it down a snowy hill teeming with approximately 400 other excited kids.
G&T: What daddy needs after an afternoon of snowracing.
Generous THC: What daddy needs after an afternoon of snowracing.
Gaaah-Thunk: The sound of two Snowracers colliding (and their warranties being simultaneously voided).
Grace Tolja: Like when Grace said, "I tolja Santa knows how to make fast toys!"
.gt: The Internet country code top-level domain for Guatemala.
Good Thing: As in, "Good thing for the brake, or that sled would be in Scarborough by now."
Giggle at Toronto: What the rest of Canada does whenever it snows enough to actually use a Snowracer here.