Picture credit: scunnert.wordpress.com
It is a measure of a desperation borne of straightened times that can force small insignificant and otherwise overlooked communities into deranged acts of corporate publicity that has led to the glorious municipal stupidity that was this week’s big local authority news. Doubtless having read my scratchings on silly place-names in the USA at “Effin Right“, the authorities in the previously unremarked hamlet of Dull (Scotland) population 84, and small town Boring (Oregon) population 10,000+, decided to revive that failed old municipal chestnut of the “twinned town” in a last gasp attempt to up their flaccid tourism rates. It’s part of the local authority business plan said Steve Bates of Dull & Weem Community Council, making this a “pair for the ages”. They believe that people really might travel out of their way to take photos of the road sign. Collect the pair and get a discount cup of coffee in the most “boring” coffee shop in the states, or soup and a sandwich in the “dullest” tea room in Scotland. Buy the tea towel, get the T-shirt. Oh goody, as if the Scottish Highlands wasn’t already stiff with tea shops and heritage centres. Still it seems to be working already, as four cyclists on route to John O’Groat’s the other day took a detour especially, and had that said cup of tea.
But, I wondered, could they have gone further, taken the concept that extra mile? Perhaps smitten by the success of ordering an extra loaf and some milk for the cafe they could extend the idea. They might have chosen Boring in Maryland, whose population is closer to theirs and taken advantage of Maryland being truly tedious too? What about joining with Dam Boring in Western Australia, (one house and a road junction and do, do look it up on Google map for the emptiest map you are ever likely to see). Or combine with Lost in Aberdeenshire, and No Name in Colorado for the tour – an alternative Route 66?
No, I have it, let’s cross the continents to combine Europe, the States and Britain by going for the small Austrian town of Fucking, and then you would have a story that really was Fucking Dull and Boring.
Now that would sell T shirts.
Copyright David Macadam 2012