Toad Suck, Arkansas, the most unfortunately named town in the States
Does it really matter, in the grand scheme of things, what the name of the town where you grew up is?
When I was a kid, I thought it would be a drag explaining to people that I was from a silly-sounding place called "Chilly Whack". Why couldn't I have been from a neat-sounding place like Skookumchuck or something? Thankfully, I was forever saved from embarassment when, in the Year of Our Lord, 1977, a rock group named Chilliwack released the wicked tune "Fly at Night". After that, whenever I told somebody where I was from I had Bill Henderson's wailing, "Free Bird"-style guitar solo in my head, drowning out the silly sound.
The residents of Toad Suck, Arkansas, aren't quite so lucky. They don't have a rock band to help make the name of their town seem suddenly hip. Maybe that's why a recent poll by the genealogy website, Findymypast.com, chose Toad Suck as the "most unfortunate" town name in the U.S.
Not that it didn't have some stiff competition. The top 10 included Boring, Oregon; Belchertown, Massachusetts; and my personal fave, Monkey's Eyebrow, Kentucky.
Do monkeys even have eyebrows? I never noticed.
As to how Toad Suck got its poll-winning moniker, here's the explanation from toadsuck.org:
Long ago, steamboats traveled the Arkansas River when the water was at the right depth. When it wasn’t, the captains and their crew tied up to wait where the Toad Suck Lock and Dam now spans the river. While they waited, they refreshed themselves at the local tavern there, to the dismay of the folks living nearby, who said: “They suck on the bottle ’til they swell up like toads.” Hence, the name Toad Suck. The tavern is long gone, but the legend and fun live on at Toad Suck Daze.
Speaking of Toad Suck Daze, before calling your travel agent, check out how cool their annual toad race is. I like the way the red-shirted cheater on the right flicks his toad like it's a marble or somethin'.
Those wacky Yanks.
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