Town Naming Drunkards


So, once a week, I have to travel to good old Connecticut for work. I don’t mind this as much as you might think. First, it’s a day that I do not have to deal with the city. Second, CT people don’t really care what time I get there. And Thirdly, I get to drive my lovely car.

Now this is a decent drive. It takes anywhere from 1.5 to 4.5 hours to get there, each way. (Don’t worry; my company compensates me nicely to offset this ridiculousness.) So, this affords me lots and lots of time to think, sing loudly when I know no one else can hear and just reflect on life in general. Yesterday was one of these days and something occurred to me on the way home.
I was getting onto the Garden State Parkway, way at the tippy top and I saw a sign that read : School House Road, Chestnut Ridge, 1 mile.
I thought to myself, “How cute. Chestnut Ridge sounds like such a nice little quaint place to live. And all those houses along School House Road must be center hall colonials with white picket fences in pristine condition.” (I swear, this is the image my brain conjures all on its own.)

Then my brain did one of those things. Like when it goes off, all on its own accord and I have to start running to keep up. Here was my train of thought:

“How cute. Chestnut Ridge sounds like such a nice little quaint place to live. And all those houses along School House Road must be center hall colonials with white picket fences in pristine condition.” Hmm…. I wonder who came up with the word quaint. What a weird word. Used to describe something displaying a unique sense of old-fashion and charm. But really, what the hell is it? Say it a few times in your head. Quaint. quaint. Quaint. Say it out loud ten times and by the time you’re done, you’ll say incredulously to yourself, “What the fuck is a quaint?!?!” It doesn’t even sound nice after that much repetition. I bet Americans made up that word so they would have something nice to say about the place by the time they got done fucking it up. Like, “Hey, we’re here to kill all these Indians and make alcoholics out of those we don’t kill, but we don’t want to sound like bad guys. What should we do?” Some other idiot says, “Let’s name all our places after Indian names, so it’ll look like we had respect for them, albeit after we killed them all. And yeah, we’ll call the place quaint. Doesn’t that sound cute?”

I believe that this is also the reason we have places with names like Ho-Ho-Kus and Ronkonkoma. These town naming people must have all been VERY, Very drunk.

And I swear, I was NOT drunk on my way home yesterday.

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