(And no, I don’t mean you, Mr. Heath!)

Bob-the-blowdryer died a fiery death on Wednesday. I laid him to rest (in the trash can) and… mourned. Slightly.

Maybe I should explain.

I name my inanimate (but usually mechanical) objects once they’ve hung around long enough to exhibit some quirks. That’s why I drive Sherry-the-Camry, peer into the Web on Izzita-the-iPad, whirl smoothies in Naylor-the-blender, fire glass in Skooby-the-Skutt (or, maybe someday, Oliver Wendell Kiln), and output stuff to Sammi-the-laser-printer.

Interestingly enough, Derrick, my old (and not all-that-beloved) Motorola Droid X smartphone, had a name, but my current iPhone 5s is called, “iPhone.” Go figure.

I named Bob, Bob, for many reasons. My usual hairstyle–the one that’s so engrained in my follicles they assume it no matter what the hairdressers attempt–is called a “bob,” so it seems appropriate.

I once had an editor who bore a striking resemblance to Bob, the only real difference being that the blowdryer didn’t confuse the terms “ADSL” and “IP address.” And the blowdryer didn’t have a wealth of earwax crumbling out of stray orifices onto its narrow shoulders (eeeeeuw).

That editor’s name was Bob, too.

But the main reason Bob-the-blowdryer is Bob is uhm…well…when I lived in New York, I frequently didn’t get home from work until after 2AM, still wound up from putting the magazine to bed. So I’d watch late-night reruns until I could relax and drift off to sleep.

You get a lot of really odd commercials on late night TV in New York, and my favorite involved a guy named Bob. I had zero interest in the product, not being a male in need of enhancement, but the commercials were so camp and overdone I couldn’t resist them.

About that same time, I bought a Conair Euro-1600 blowdryer, whose chief attraction was that it folded in half to become more compact in a suitcase. For some reason, every time I looked at that blowdryer I thought of Bob-in-the-commercial and laughed, so it became “Bob.”

That was in 1998, so it really shouldn’t have come as a surprise Wednesday morning when I smelled smoke and saw tiny sparks coming from Bob’s backside. A fast gout of flame and –PFFFT-T-T-T–Bob’s motor died. I flipped the switch, popped the reset button on the bathroom outlet a couple of times, but poor Bob was dead.

He’d been blowing hot air onto my head daily for 16 years. I guess he deserved a rest.

I went to work with wet hair.

Today I bought a new blowdryer. It’s shiny. It’s purple. It sounds like a jet engine taking off in my bathroom. It doesn’t get anywhere NEAR as hot as Bob, and it doesn’t fold up.

It’s named “blowdryer.”

Rest in peace, Bob.