Monday, July 19, 2010

It Doesn't Sound As Funny Once You're Used To It

The other day, Mr. Willoughby said "I miss your blog."  You know what?  I do, too.  So here I am.

It Doesn't Sound As Funny Once You're Used To It

When you've lived some place for a while, you get used to the names of cities, towns and streets around you.  Even the most ridiculous names become commonplace and you stop noticing how funny they really sound.  Even if it's just a simple case of mispronunciation.

I live in Michigan and my little town has a perfectly normal name.  Nothing funny about it at all.  Same goes for the street I live on.  But if you go to the edge of town, you'll run into a road called "Gratiot".  If you're not from this area, you may not know how to pronounce that name.  Phonetically, it's pronounced "Grash-it", but if you're giving directions over the phone, it often comes across as "Grass Shit". 

Now if you go north of my little town, you will eventually run into the town of Port Huron (we'll get to the humor behind that in a minute).  On the way, you will pass a street called  "Ankrapp".  I have no idea of the proper pronunciation, but whenever I hear someone mention it, it always sounds like "Ann Crap".

Back to Port Huron.  If you say it correctly, there's nothing funny about it, but, people with a more pronounced Michigan accent tend to say something closer to "Port Hurin" which comes across as "Port Urine" or (even worse, in my opinion) "Porch Urine".  I always wonder what happens when people who say it that way go on vacation.  In a casual conversation with other tourists: "So where in Michigan are you from?"  "We've lived in Porch Urine for the last 20 years."  Nice.

I used to work in a big office building that was located on a street called "Big Beaver".  No, I'm not kidding.  When I was a legal assistant, part of my job was scheduling depositions, so I was constantly giving out the address.  I can't tell you how many times I had to repeat and then spell the name of the street.  Everyone thought they had heard me wrong because, surely, no one would name a street "Big Beaver".

And just to make it a little more fun, we had a sculpture of a huge head in front of the building (again, not kidding).  Giving out directions sounded something like this: "When you get off the expressway, go east on Big Beaver until you see the building with the giant head."   Some people would ask if it was a human head or a beaver's head.  It was a human head.   I know you're curious, so here it is.

If you should, by any chance, be planning a trip to Michigan and you want to see more than Grass Shit, Ann Crap, Porch Urine, a Big Beaver and a huge head, you can just go to Hell.  Really, you can. 

There's a city named Hell, Michigan.  It's about 40 miles away from Eden.  I couldn't make this stuff up if I wanted to.

*All photos courtesy of Google Images.


5thsister said...

LOL! Can't stop chuckling! Great back to blogging post, Su!

L.B. said...

Love it!

Awesome post, classic Willoughby.

ChristineM said...

Great post! Thanks for the laughs!

Clarity said...

Oh this is so naughty! The law office address: hilarious. Reminds me of this early Eastwood movie he directed. The girl (actress) came from a small town called Intercourse, but you could only get there by way of Faithful.

Betty said...

Good to have you back!
Welcome home!
I really enjoyed this post!
Thanks for the giggles :)

Lisa said...

LOL! I had such a laugh reading this! I wish the area near me had some funny streets and city names to giggle at...maybe I just need to be more aware!

Matty said...

You've returned in classic form. Welcome back.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Hey Willoughby, Great to see you back.

Your post cracked me up. I've heard of a few of these places and I still laugh when I hear it.

Hope your summer is going well.


Jenn Erickson said...

Wow! And I thought that Lancaster County in PA had cornered the market on street signs and city names that make you blush when you say them! Loved learning about these gems from Michigan!

I decided to go through my list of "followers" today and pay a visit to let you know how thankful I am for your friendship, fellowship and followship! xoxo, Jenn

lisleman said...

Over a year ago, I posted a story about Butt Hole Road - no joke

I've heard about Hell MI every winter about the time of the first freeze.

Those other names are funny but I would have thought anyone would say Port Huron that way.

Speaking of misunderstanding words - did you see Mrs. 4444 post about the misunderstood song lyrics - LMAO type of post.


Chicago Mom said...

Great post, very funny!
I wonder how often that Hell sign gets stolen. There is recreational area near here called Bong and the sign says Bong Recreational Area and that sign gets stolen a LOT.

Heidi said...


Tracie said...

LOL! I'm glad you're back.

There is a Looneyville very close to my hometown.

The girl with the flour in her hair said...

Ha! Love it. The best one I've heard was from a town about 20 minutes from here. The town? Eaton. The school's (former) mascot? Beavers. The Eaton Beavers. Yup.

Strangely enough, they've since become the "Reds".

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

glad you're back...

cute post

i have missed you, my friend

kary and teddy

Kerrie T. said...

Hahaha! We have some funny towns in Washington, too. My favorite is Sequim (skwim). Puyallup is pretty good, too: pee-all-up.