Make My Day
IT'S A NICE PLACE TO VISIT, BUT . . .
by Erik Deckers
American Reporter Humor Writer
SYRACU.S.E, Ind. -- We live in an interesting country with some pretty interesting names. Nowhere else in the world can names of cities induce the same laughs, guffaws, and rolled eyes that American cities can. At least, that's what I'm told. I don't get out much.
A lot of names of cities are pronounced incorrectly to begin with, which can get some puzzled looks from international visitors. For example, there's Chili, Ind., which is not pronounced like the food, but is instead pronounced Chye-Lye. And there's Versailles, Ind., which is pronounced like it's spelled, and not like the French say it, Ver-sye.
But if someone complains about Hoosers pronounce things, tell them to go to Hell!
You'll be sending them 30 minutes northwest of Ann Arbor, Mich. Or send them off to Hell Hole, Utah, Ida., or Calif. And if they take you up on your offer, tell them to bring you back a t-shirt with a slogan like "My friends went to Hell, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt," or "I've been to Hell and back."
But if you would rather go to Purgatory, you can visit one of five convenient locations in Alaska, Colorado, Maine, Rhode Island, or Utah. Can't decide? Don't worry, there's a Hell and Purgatory in North Carolina. But if you want to visit a place a little holier than Hell, you can always go to Jesus Canyon in Arizona, California, New Mexico, or Texas.
Think you live in a boring town? At least you don't live in Boring, Ore., or Boring, Md. There's also Boring Ridge, Tenn., although I'm told it's not too boring if you fall off. And for a little more excitement, folks in the Boring towns like to visit something a little Bland. So they pack up the car, load up the kids, and head to Bland, Fla., Bland, Mo., or Bland, Va.
There's also Bland Canyon, N. M., which despite a strong marketing program, just doesn't attract the same tourist dollars as the Grand Canyon.
Death is a big theme in our country's cities and towns. There's Dead Alligator Point, La., Dead Bear Hollow, Pa., Dead Boy Point, Ariz., and Dead Cow Canyon, Ariz. There are also towns named for dead elks, goats, heifers, calves, camels, and even a Dutchman.
When I was growing up, I used to think Butte, Mont. was a great name for a city, because even with the "e" at the end, it's enough to make any 13-year-old giggle himself into a stupor. However, that was before I found out about Butt Canyon, Utah, Butt Hollow, W. Va., and Butt Mountain in both California and North Carolina. Is your name Powell? You can visit your own derriere in Butt of Powell, Tenn. this summer.
Beer drinkers rejoice! There are towns just for you. There's Beer Keg Meadow, Calif., (where beer kegs grow, apparently), Beer Keg Hollow, Pa., Beer Mug Mountain, Wyo., and Beer Garden Gulch, Wyo. Of course, "Gulch" sounds like "Belch," but unfortunately, it's not the name of any town in the United States.
But for the 13-year-old boy in all of us, don't worry. There's Burp Hollow, Ore. (known as Burp Holler to the locals), Burpee, Ore., and Burpee Hill, New Hampshire. There's also Belcher, Ariz., Kentucky, Louisiana, and New York. But if your parents get a little tired of that, they may threaten to take you to Spanker, Ohio and Spankey, Illinois.
About this time, you're wondering, "what about all those city names that sound dirty, but really aren't?" There are towns like Effingham, Illinois, which sound like you're trying not to swear in front of the children. But would you actually discuss Intercourse in front of them? You would if you were talking about the little towns in Pennsylvania and Alabama.
Remember, these are real city and town names. I have not made any of them up. If you don't believe me, you can find them in any U.S. road atlas. The really good ones even include small towns too. But they're not always major tourist attractions. For some strange reason, towns like Big Bone Lick, Ky., and Dildo Key, Fla., just don't seem to attract as many residents as towns like Bountiful, Utah or Cash, Mich.
So if you're looking for an interesting place to visit on your next vacation, but don't want to spend a lot of money, visit beautiful Tightwad, Mo.
And if your friends ask Why? (Arizona)? Just say,Why Not? (North Carolina and Mississippi). Erik Decker was out of the office last week, so we are reprinting an earlier column.