Thursday, March 4, 2021

And Now a Mostly Trivial Moment About Snow Plow Names

The Minnesota Department of Transportation just announced the results of its contest to name eight of its snowplows. They got tens of thousands of ideas for names, which the staff narrowed to 50. Those were put up for a vote, and 122,000 people cast ballots online.

There were a lot of good choices and I was in favor of the ones that had an extremely local meaning and usually were funny. For instance, I voted for one that's the Ojibwe word for snow, but that didn't win. Another loser I voted for: Road Carew. I also I voted for these winners: The Truck Formerly Known as Plow (which came in last among the top eight) and the third-place Duck Duck Orange Truck (see, if you aren't from here you might not even get that one). 

Other winners I didn't vote for that were local:

  • Ope, Just Gonna Plow Right Past Ya because it seemed to be trying too hard. Though it's definitely locally oriented, or at least Midwestern. 
  • F. Salt Fitzgerald because that guy has too many things named after him already. 
  • Plow Bunyan... really? Do we need to name something else after that made-up man who is also claimed by Maine?

Then there are two. Two. Two trucks tamed after Star Wars characters, which is about as far from local as you can get: Snowbi Wan Kenobi and Darth Blader.

And none of those can top my biggest disappointment, which is the number-one finisher and the only name to get a vote from more than half of the voters: Plowy McPlowFace. 

Which goes to show you that there are a lot of people with a juvenile sense of humor and/or who don't go on the interweb very much. I like my jokes a bit fresher than a five-year-old ripoff of a British boat-naming contest.

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