On The Map

A friend of mine reported being in Booger Hollow the other day. It made me think of other places I have passed by, like ‘Hog Wallow Rd.’ and ‘Rug Rat Drive’. I once went to Frozen Sneaker (in Wyoming) and have been over Rabbit Ears Pass (New Mexico, I think). Some place names are funny because of their proximity to other places. I once passed three roads in rapid succession, Misty Brooke, Rainbow Road and Mosquito Lane. Sometimes they make you think, like ‘Chained Bear Road’. I have had many thoughts about that Why not get a cage? Or just turn him loose? Who chained him up? Was he asleep when they did it? Then there is the ‘Holy Ghost Disturbed Baptist Church’ (Bonita, Arkansas) Who had the audacity to disturb him? How disturbed is he? I think these are legitimate questions that deserve answers. And sometimes the people doing the naming just weren’t thinking. That is the only possible explanation for places like Toad Suck Park (Arkansas) and Transylvania (Louisiana). Toad Suck Park is kind of fun. Every year there is a Toad Suck Parade. There are Toad Suck Queens, a title I aspire to, but only in an honorary capacity. I assume these things are part of a Toad Suck Festival. To me that sounds like a fun thing to say, “You wanna go to the Toad Suck Festival this year?”. I’m not sure if people would line up to get in the car or just edge away from me with that funny look they get sometimes.
 I will admit to being easily entertained by the names of roads I pass. I have a really long commute to work. During one straight, flat, pine tree infested 20 mile stretch there are, in succession, roads called, Berryman Drive, Quiet Lady Lane, Love Rd., Melvin Rd., Marvin Rd., and Marion Rd. I like to think that the quiet lady married the berry man at the Beulah Land Church (on Love Rd.) and that Melvin, Marvin, and Marion were their children. It occupies my mind until I get to the next town. At the far edge of that town there are, respectively, Tidwell Rd. and C. Tidwell Rd. One is forced to assume that old C. Tidwell did not wish to be associated with the rest of the Tidwells and needed his own road. Once I passed ‘Alligator Alley’. I almost moved just so I could tell people that that’s where I lived.
 At times things are so badly named that one wonders if there was not some effort applied to selecting a silly name, as in Bug Tussle,(Missouri) or Boring (Oregon). Foolishness seems to be the order of the day in the plethora of Paris’, Romes and even the occasional London scattered amongst the lexicon of small town names in this country. I’m not sure what the aspirations of the people who named these towns were, but places like Rome, Oregon (population 13 if you count the town’s 7 dogs) don’t seem to live up to them. Myself, I applaud the creativity of the world’s intrepid namers and am going to retire to ‘Terra del Fugue’ the “end of the world” (which is a short spit of beach near Pacific City, Oregon) and watch the tide go in and out.


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