from Your Name Here, USA
by Mad Dog
The mayor of Biggs
was the only one to respond, which isn’t surprising since it takes a
very special person to want to run a town with punctuation in its
||It may not be long before
you can add another stop to next year’s California vacation. Not only
will you be able to visit Disneyland, the Golden Gate Bridge, and
Yosemite National Park, you might be able to stop off in Got Milk?
before heading home to torture the neighbors with the 1,247 hours of
video you shot. At least you will if the California Milk Processing
Board has its way.
In their quest to honor the “Got
Milk?” ad campaign’s 10th anniversary, the board’s advertising
agency sent a letter to 20 small towns across California proposing that
they change their name to Got Milk?. This is strange since the proper
gift for a 10th anniversary is tin, and milk comes in cartons, not cans.
Except evaporated milk, which sounds more like what we should call
powdered milk, and condensed milk, which should be reserved for drinking
while reading Cliff’s Notes or Reader’s Digest. In return for making
their town sound incredibly goofy, the ad agency promised instant
notoriety, the honor of being the focus of next year’s ad campaign, an
undetermined contribution to the school system, and a Got Milk? Museum,
which could easily supplant the world’s largest ball of used dental
floss as a reason to venture out of the house next summer.
The mayor of Biggs was the only one
to respond, which isn’t surprising since it takes a very special
person to want to run a town with punctuation in its name. Someone who
perhaps takes after Dick Crow, the mayor of Half.com, Oregon, possibly
the only town in the country with a period in its name, even if they do
pronounce it “dot.”
The idea to become
Got Milk? could yet be rejected by the Biggs City Council when they meet
on November 18th. If that happens, the California Milk Processing Board
might consider buying their own town.
Now it’s true that when the Internet company by the same name
contacted them, Half.com didn’t have as radical a name change to make
as Biggs does, since it had been known for years as Halfway. And it’s
also true that they probably should have bargained harder, since 20
computers, $75,000 for civic improvements, and “a prize to be raffled
at the county fair” was all it took to get them to go along with the
Internet company’s publicity plan. But they shouldn’t feel bad. They
can count their blessings that when eBay bought Half.com the town
wasn’t a part of the deal. And that they weren’t forced to change
their name yet again, this time to eBay, which would have meant they
could never hold an auction there without some high-powered corporate
lawyers threatening to beat up their puny municipal lawyers.
The idea to become Got Milk? could
yet be rejected by the Biggs City Council when they meet on November
18th. If that happens, the California Milk Processing Board might
consider buying their own town. You know, like say Amboy, California.
Tim White, who owns Roy’s Cafe and Motel as well as the town, has put
it up for sale. The town, not the cafe. For a low, low $1.9 million the
Milk Board could pick up a town with a population of 10, a gas station,
a motel, a church, an airplane hanger, a half dozen houses, and a post
office. So what if the self-proclaimed “crustiest, dustiest gas stop
on all of Route 66” bakes at 120 degrees during the summer, they’ll
have milk. I mean, Got Milk?
Come to think of it, K-Y Jelly, KY would be a natural
location for a specialized lifestyle resort.
Amboy will have better luck being sold than Otis, Oregon did. A couple
of years ago it was put on the market for $2.9 million but no one
snapped it up. At the time I proposed buying it and changing the name to
Dogestan, then since I’d be emperor I would name Jose Cuervo as the
Official Liquor, Converse All-Star high-top black monochrome as the
Official Shoe, and of course me as the Official Columnist, but I had a
hard time scraping together the down payment. Imagine that.
Biggs does end up changing its name to Got Milk?—or they listen to me
for once in their life and buy Amboy and rename it Got Milk?—this
could be the start of a trend. After all, companies have already snapped
up the naming rights to stadiums, amphitheaters, bowl games, races, and
even World Series inning statistics, so the list of available
possibilities is pretty narrow at this point. Don’t be surprised if
the National Pork Board buys Livonia, Michigan and renames it The Other
White Meat, Apple Computers moves their headquarters to Think Different,
California, and KFC opens a location in the newly dubbed Finger
Lickin’ Good, Kentucky. Come to think of it, K-Y Jelly, KY would be a
natural for a specialized lifestyle resort. Some names could present a
problem, though—if the California Milk Advisory Board tried to rename
a town It’s the Cheese, I’m sure Las Vegas would file suit claiming
If we do end up with a Got Milk?,
California, there’s little question city streets, rivers, and lakes
will be next. And why not? If you enjoyed your visit to Got Milk? I’m
sure you’d love sailing down the Amazon.com River, buying a house on
Nightmare on Elm Street (Part X), and fishing on beautiful Land O’
Lakes Lake. Just don’t forget the video camera.
©2002 Mad Dog
Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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