The other day my phone rang. The number came up without a name. It just said “Poughkeepsie, NY”. I was kind of excited until I answered.
“Good afternoon sir. This is Carl. I’m calling about your recent Microsoft purchase…”
I just hung up. I haven’t purchased anything from Microsoft recently. And I was disappointed. I don’t know anyone from Poughkeepsie so if it weren’t a scam it would be a wrong number, but I just like the sound of the place. I know nothing about Poughkeepsie, but it’s just a fun name to say, like Walla Walla, Washington, or Toadsuck, Texas, or Cucamonga, California, or Bucksnort, Tennessee. I once overheard a friend of mine explaining to someone how to get to a trout farm. He said, “If you’re going from Nashville to Memphis…it’s on the left.” I laughed and said, “Wait a minute. It’s about a three and a half hour drive to Memphis. Do you know how many left turns there are between here and there?”
That night I told my wife that story and she said, “Oh, he means Bucksnort.”
I felt like a jackass.
The great thing about Poughkeepsie is it sounds like the name of a stupid game kids might play.
“Hey, I found your ball.”
“Thanks. Can I have it back?”
I love, love, LOVE unusual city names. And unusual people names. There’s a joke that you may have heard before which I think is funny:
Two tourists were driving through Natchitoches arguing about the pronunciation of the town. At Burger King one tourist asks the employee, “Could you please settle an argument for us? Would you please pronounce where we are, very slowly?”
The guy leaned over the counter and said “Burrrrrrgerrr Kiinnngggg”.
I hadn’t heard that one before. I love it! I’ll definitely remember it the next time I’m traveling through a town with an unpronounceable name.