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A place for everything, and everything in its place.

Byline: Sid McKeen

COLUMN: WRY AND GINGER

If you've never Googled yourself or members of your own family on the Internet, it may be time you did. You could be surprised - even aghast - at what you'll find there.

I've run Google searches of family and friends and discovered such exotica within my own limited circle as a court charge of driving without proof of insurance, an unsuccessful lawsuit against a client and a disciplinary action against an appointed county official, not one of whom apparently was aware of his cyberspace publicity. Not that there's anything much you can do about it: I've never heard of anyone managing to have his or her records expunged from the Net, which just goes on day after day recycling garbage that may or may not always be entirely accurate.

The other day, perhaps in the interest of fairness, I decided to review my own file. I found one or two items there of a personal nature, though none, I was relieved to discover, that left any really yucky aftertaste. There were several Wry

and Ginger columns, recent as well as ancient, and that was fine.

But there was one entry that really bowled me over, and illustrated the staying power - as well as the inconsequential character - of the Web. It showed up on a Web site called The Punnery, and started out by citing a column I had written in 1992, suggesting that certain corporations or institutions ought to be relocated to cities or towns more appropriate to their products or expertise.

The blogger (I couldn't find his or her name anywhere) quoted some of my examples, among them:

Ford Motor Co. of Chevy Chase, Md.

The American Institute of Diagnostic Physicians of Onset, Mass.

Singer Sewing Machine Co. of Mendon, Mass.

Democratic National Committee of Liberal, Kan.

Crabapple Growers of America of Minneapolis, Minn.

Lions Club International of Aurora, Ill.

Apparently, others jumped into the fun, because what followed was entry after entry of similar foolishness. They came from all over America and part of Europe. To give you just a small sample of the proposed locations:

A cemetery for very small mammals in Shrewsbury, Mass.

Arthur Murray Dance Studios, Charleston, S.C.

American Bar Association, Sioux City, Iowa

A hunky-dory place for a small boat company, Roanoke, Va.

Beautyrest Mattress Co., Napa, Calif.

Burpee Seed Co., Belchertown, Mass.

Coppertone lotion, Brownsville, Texas

Dr. Scholl's foot products, Calais, Maine

Maidenform Inc., Brazzaville, Congo

MENSA International, Superior, Wis.

National Association of Certified Public Accountants, Billings, Mont.

National Rifle Association, Ames, Iowa

Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Hazard, Ky.

Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America, Harmony, Maine

In total, there were eight full pages of such wordplay, all dated in 1992 and 1993, and I'd never seen any of it before. Of course, it's never too late to start another round.

Sid McKeen can be reached via e-mail at sidmck@earthlink.net.
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Title Annotation:INSIGHT
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Jan 6, 2008
Words:493
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