The StarTribune: CLIMAX, MINN. — It may be the town’s slogan, but it doesn’t meet the approval of the superintendent, who has placed a school ban on the T-shirts that read: “Climax — More than just a feeling.” Read more
It turns out that Climax, which is in the middle of nowhere north of my hometown in Northwestern Minnesota, is near another town named Fertile. Headline in local paper: “Fertile Woman Dies in Climax” That might be a rural urban legend but up in the Red River Valley they swear it’s true.
That brings to mind one of my favorite typographical jokes. Maybe the only one. I use this story when trying to convey the importance of good spacing in typography. Apparently a headline was written for a newspaper article about a governor exercising his veto power. It read, “Governor’s Pen is a Sword.” But they got some of the word spacing a little to tight.
You know you are a Minnesotan if you can pronounce Wayzata (and you’re from my nieghborhood if you think the people who live there are all rich bastards), Minnetonka, Minnewaska, Pokegama, and Winnebigoshish. Or you pronounce Mille Lacs “Mill Lacks” and Nicollet “Nicklet.” I used to tend bar on the corner of 26th and Nicollet and people would call me up and say “Are you on Nickolay Avenue?” “You’re not from around here are you?”
If I remember my geographic name jokes correctly I think my readers from Pennsylvania might have a contribution here. And of course Canadian place names are funny all by themselves. I mean, Moose Jaw?

7 thoughts on “

  1. well of course we have things to add.  when i saw the story on climax on cnn, i immediately thought of intercourse (think of the t-shirt that could make — “from intercourse, i went on to climax”).  and funny you mention wayzata.  i mentioned to a friend that i had another friend who lives there (i must have lived in minnesota in another life or something), and he said, “rich bastard.” 

  2. ha, i just told HP about the street that bill ran across yesterday:  Manlove Street.

    not as exciting, so to speak, as living in climax, i’m sure, but hey.  love should always come first, right?

    i said… first.

  3. HA!   Here are some of my fave place names:

    Toad Lick, Arkansas

    Pecker’s Point, Newfoundland, Canada
    Lickdale ,Pennsylvania
    Mount Mee, Australia
    Fugit, Kentucky
    Wankie, Zimbabwe

  4. Come-by-Chance, Newfoundland and Dildo, also Newfoundland, spring to mind here. Plus, all those “Lick” places in Kentucky. You know, Knob Lick and the like.

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