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Choosing Baby Names for Asphalt

Call me a small stuff sweater. Because I can totally sweat the small stuff when I am of the mind. Take street names, for example.

james watt inventorHere in Sacramento, after it ran out of letters to name the streets in this town, and before it got so suburb-happy, somebody came along and named a bunch of major streets in one area as follows: Edison Ave., Watt Ave., Howe Ave., Fulton Ave., Northrup Ave., Arden Way, Bell Ave., Morse Ave., Whitney Ave., Marconi Ave., etc…

Great. I don’t have a problem with that. It’s got a nice theme and I can dance to it.

However, when some bozo in a cubicle is assigned to name all the streets in a new subdivision, a bozo who is out of ideas but actually gets PAID to make up names and probably knocks out them during his afternoon dump, he has no idea of the consequences or the chaos he has created. Particularly when it comes to giving directions to a first-time visitor.

“Oh yeah,” your cousin Ralph says, “I live on Laguna Greens Circle. You can’t miss it.”

And you drive around knowing you’re looking for Laguna something and you drive down Laguna Woods Dr., then Laguna West Way, then Laguna Mill Avenue, then Laguna God-knows-what-else and on and on until your car’s compass spins out of control and your brain explodes and you veer off the road and hit the street sign marking the intersection of Laguna Meadows Ave. and Red Maple Laguna Dr.

Just asking for a little forethought, people. That’s all.


This post is part of The 30 Minus 2 Day Writing Challenge (today’s prompt is “And then my brain exploded“) and is hosted by We Work for Cheese.

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  1. I used to know someone who named streets. He named one after his wife “Macrina”. At least that’s original. If only I’d met him before he retired there might be a “Viveca” Street which would also be a little more original than where I live.

    Lee’s Crossing — The Troon at Lee’s Hill – Lee’s …


  2. Indigo Roth says:

    Good grief, that’s hugely dumb. Reminds me if the joke in LAST ACTION HERO about all numbers having 555 in them. “well, that’s why we have area codes for phone numbers!”

  3. Ben Swilley says:

    In Athens, GA the streets change names as you drive along. The straight road (no turns) to our house changes names three times in a couple of miles. Same road. I do not read road signs in Athens. I practice reading sign like a Cherokee Indian. I stick my head out the window and squint at the sun. I put a wet finger out the open window to see which side dries first. I always use my middle finger on my left hand. There will come a day that will be my last. My head, arm and partially wet finger will all be gone somewhere down the road with several names. The rest of me will still be in the car. Maybe they will name a short portion of the road after me. They can call it Benjamin’s Botch.

  4. I am totally with you, Margaret.
    In our neighborhood the streets have the same name but “Blvd., St., Way., Place, etc are added. It’s total confusion.
    xo jj

  5. Cheryl P. says:

    I am, also a sweater of the small stuff and I totally agree with you. If a person is actually getting paid to name a street, they should be able to come up with new words instead of adding a West, Mill, Circle, Lane or Parkway to it. Here where I live in Kansas many of the streets have Native American heritage. I live on a street named after a chief but while I live on “Drive” there is the same address on both a “circle” and a “street”. GPS are worthless in my neighborhood.

  6. Look at the bright side… you don’t have to live on Mildorf Street like I do. I really want to know who made up that one.

    1. Margaret says:

      Mildorf? Well, that’s….different. πŸ™‚

  7. Alameda is an old Navy town. So we have a lot of Admiral’s and aircraft carrier names for streets. That’s okay with me. What’s nice is that “Grand Street” is really grand here. But Buena Vista really has no views. So Something is a bit off, isn’t it?

    1. Margaret says:

      We have a “Meadowview” here, Linda, and with the suburban sprawl, of course there is no meadow to view.

  8. Nicky says:

    Margaret, I hate to tell you this, but it could be worse. In Costa Rica, none of the streets have names. And none of the buildings are numbered. You can play Where’s Juanita? for a lifetime and never win.

    1. Margaret says:

      I’ve heard Japan can be difficult, too. I have a friend in the UK who made fun of me for living on a numbered street, because apparently, one simply does not do such things in Merry Old England.

  9. Oberon says:

    Victory street, Hostages street, July’s victims street … When one lives there, he/she usually forgets the true meaning behind these names.

    1. Margaret says:

      Hostages Street? Wow that would be…weird.

  10. MikeWJ says:

    I have to admit that when you said “small stuff sweater,” I thought the post would be about something else entirely.

    1. Margaret says:

      Ha! I did, too. πŸ™‚

  11. Ziva says:

    Hah! I live in an area where all the streets have names with the word “wind” in them. Tail Wind, Side Wind, Evening Breeze, Southern Wind, Northern Wind…. In another area of town, the streets are called Pluto, Neptune, Saturn, Uranus and so on. I used to live on Raspberry Road, which was off a street called Berry Picker’s Way, with Blueberry Road, Cherry Road, Strawberry Road, Lingonberry Road and Blackcurrant Road near by.

    Yes, we’re fucked up in Finland.

    1. Margaret says:

      Maybe it sounds different in Finnish, but if I lived on Uranus, well, I can’t even “finnish” that sentence.

  12. Boom! No more Lagunas! UGH!

    Yeah, think it through, folks.

    1. Margaret says:

      I know, right? πŸ™‚

  13. Katherine says:

    I went to Mt. Laguna as a little one … We went to play in snow!

    1. Margaret says:

      Which tells me that at least you didn’t get lost, but then if you can’t find a mountain, I probably would not have been able to help you, anyway.

  14. nonamedufus says:

    Wow, you have a street named after Whitney Houston? Amazing. And she wasn’t even from there.

    1. Margaret says:

      I know! We are soooo worldly here.

  15. Linda says:

    Ever been to Atlanta? I looked it up. As of last year there were 71 streets named Peachtree.

    Oh and I’m pretty sure my brain has exploded because I read Laguna and thought Iguana.

    1. Margaret says:

      oh my goodness, I have been to Atlanta and have seen many Peach Trees. The streets, not the trees. How does anyone get anywhere!