Saturday, January 25, 2014

Stillwater Runs Deep

It’s been a tough couple of years for summer festival lovers in Stillwater.  The beloved, venerable Lumberjack Days went bankrupt a few years ago.  The company which owned that name refused to relinquish it for use by others.  A new festival has been methodically discussed and debated for years, and now, finally, it's been approved by civic leaders with the name Stillwater Log Jam.  For a festival with live music as a primary component, located in a city founded on the timber industry, it seems like a perfect name.

Until this week, according to the Pioneer Press:

“The city has concerns over the name that was chosen," [Mayor Ken Harycki] said Thursday. "We were made aware -- how can I put this delicately? -- that the name was a vulgar reference that we would prefer not to have associated with a family event in the city. We don't want to be the laughingstock of the nation."

If getting a mention in the San Jose Mercury News’s  “Weird News” section is any indication, too late Ken Harycki.

Mayor Harycki doesn’t name his source on this information, but I like the clandestine tone of the “we were made aware” phrasing.   Sounds like he received a midnight phone call from some shadowy, ancient organization dedicated to preventing the reemergence of the evils of timber related obscenities.  My guess, it was the Interior Logging Association.  (Interior Logging?  Wink, wink nudge, nudge, know what I mean?)

I must admit, I’m not aware of a vulgar connotation for Log Jam.  Given my social circle, if one existed, I would have heard of it.   The Urban Dictionary produces two possibilities for Harycki’s consternation, which I will not link to as I prefer not to have it associated with this Family Blog.  Both seem like they are entirely made up and not actual euphemisms in use by anybody.   One is a rather pedestrian scatological concept, and the other involves nine people having sex with a ladder.  Maybe Harycki knows of some bizarre fire department demonstration planned for Stillwater Log Jam that could be misconstrued and that got him nervous.  Outside of that, this seems to be an overreaction on his part.

But he’s the mayor, his dictates must be heeded.  Therefore, according to sources, the Stillwater summer festival will revert to its original name from the 1800’s, celebrating that other historical industry of this old river town:  Stillwater Salami Polishing Days.

And with chaste hearts and minds of Stillwater’s populace now protected, Mayor Harycki can turn his attention to the real enemy and purveyor of civic festival moral turpitude, our neighbors to the north in Scandia.