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Feminism is the radical notion that women are people. ~Cheris Kramarae and Paula Treichler

April 26, 2009

20 Worst City Names in North America: You Can’t Beat a Dead Horse, Alaska

July 30, 2008

Motto: The Object of One’s Affection

At the risk of never being given the keys to the city of Crapo Maryland, where you might not to want to open anything anyway, namely a business, there are some places that are just plain unappealing to the ear—as opposed to say, the state of Indiana*, which is unappealing to each of the other senses as well.
[*Editor’s note: It could be worse. It could be farther away from its main selling point—proximity to Chicago]

There are towns that for whatever reason struck ‘appeal to tourists’ off the local chamber of commerce agendas, watched the Rotarians rotate their wheels out of Dodge and whose mayors are currently in the process of decommissioning our welcome wagons.

These are places where a road sign pointing to them, even with the gas tank registering near empty, would have you lead foot it down the interstate and take your chances getting stranded somewhere while some maniac with a billhook muttering something about ‘city folk’ chops you into the next episode of CSI.

Now, at the risking of offending anyone outside Indiana state lines (a state so ugly it should be annexed, partitioned and sold off to the highest bidder–perhaps if a sultan in Bahrain needs somewhere to work out the finer points of his Ferrari’s 5-speed transmission) we should note that we’ve never actually been to any of the offending towns on account of never experiencing break pad trouble anywhere in their vicinity, (though one of us sped through Gary quite quickly) but we’re sure they’re all lovely places.

1. Dildo, Newfoundland. The stagette gift that turns party-goers into short-form improvisational comedians, and if the party is held at an upper end restaurant will result in a board of health citation, this device is also the most embarrassing item that can be seized at customs (doubly so if you’re a man and with any sort of standing in the community, say the comptroller for Lizard Lick, NC)

2. Flushing, New York, Drain, Oregon. Two names that refer to sending something through pipes, like say, E. coli through your intestines or a hole that attracts flies, these plumbing-themed dud monikers are a plunger and a snake away from causing serious water damage to your bathroom tiles and your psyche.

3. Bald Knob, Arkansas. A particular sexual predilection detailed in the back pages of the Village Voice, or an insult hurled out the window at a chrome-dome trucker who cut you off.

4. Dead Horse, Alaska. What more could we say about it without invoking the phrase? If your town is a ‘one horse’ one, better make sure the beast isn’t glue factory-bound.

5. Hellhole, Idaho / Hell, Michigan. ‘Hell’ might mean bright in German, but these name choices aren’t. If Hell was at a lower latitude, instead of Michigan, at least in the summer it would lend itself to ‘It’s hotter than Hell”, “No it isn’t” repartee.

6. Crapo, Maryland. Indeed.

7. Asbestos, Quebec.

Like Fleatown (below), don’t make any long term plans to stay. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the asbestos kitchen. Can explain the high absentee level due to incarceration/death at your next high school reunion.

8. Red Lick, Mississippi French Lick, Indiana, Lizard Lick, North Carolina. Larry Bird may have put French Lick on the map, but technical fouls all around and a clang off the irons for these burgs.

9. Dismal, Tennessee.
1. obsolete : disastrous, dreadful
2: showing or causing gloom or depression
3: lacking merit : particularly bad

10. Hicksville, New York. Probably not the most sophisticated center for learning and culture.

11. Boogertown, North Carolina. One good thing about Boogertown, is that it’s in Gaston County, Cito Gaston having captained the Toronto Blue Jays to back to back World Series wins. This may be a stretch, but why don’t YOU come up with something for a substance a construction worker shoots out his left nostril.

12. Fleatown, Ohio. Brought in from a curbside mattress. Don’t make any motel reservations.

13. Boring, Oregon. Truth in advertising. Oregon town uses Salt Lake City Utah’s de facto title.

14. Ogle, Kentucky. You may want to think twice about using the hotel pool. A creepy uncle at a 4-H jamboree, whose hugs linger on a little too long.

15. Hardup, Utah, Blueball Pennsylvania. When it comes to new names, these towns aren’t gettin’ any and neither are you.

16. Spread Eagle, Wisconsin. A city that’s tough on crime, but leaves you feeling compromised.

17. Rudeville, New Jersey. A ten-cent tip town.

18. Lynch, Kentucky / Swastika, Ontario. Not exactly doing wonders for the tourism industry, and hopefully not given to showing civic pride through parades. Even in Lynchburg, TN, where they make Jack Daniels, you can’t drown your sorrows as the county’s a dry one.

19. Downer, Minnesota. Dismal, TN’s sister city.

20. Recluse, Wyoming. Along with ‘no fixed address’ and ‘loner’ this term makes up the serial killer trifecta.

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