The Knights of the Auto Order Proudly Present: The Auto Body Estimate: Vol. II, #64, August 2005

We've all heard Americans complain how rude Parisians can be. I recently learned how rude Minnesotans can seem to a Frenchman. Thierry, a French transplant, explained to me that Minnesotans seem friendly on the surface but they often swear at him, specifically, calling him a name more appropriately associated with a female dog. My exhaustive research uncovered a misunderstanding around the colloquialism "you betcha".

While not exactly a transatlantic move, when I was in the 7th grade my family relocated from Duluth to a corridor of political incorrectness just outside Brainerd, Minnesota. Close by was a dam (at the south end of Gull Lake) located on a road named for the dam. A new friend explained he lived near us, just down this road. When I asked my mom if I could visit him, and she asked where he lived, I was surprised that she whacked me after I replied; "just down the Gull Dam Road." But this was just a hint of the naming problems to come.

Also near our house was a geological formation (and a bar named after it) called Squaw Point. I attended the Franklin Junior High where our team name was the Braves, and later the Brainerd Senior High, home of the Warriors. In keeping with the theory that only African Americans can use the “N-word,” all this Native American stuff might have been okay had any Native Americans been involved. However, all +400 kids in my graduating class were of Eastern European descent. So the names had to change. Squaw Point (well the bar, anyway) became Ernie’s. They closed the junior high rather than deal with the "Braves issue" and the senior high logo changed from a native headdress to a flying letter B. I understand all this, and don't oppose the changes, but I worry that, like killer bees, communism, poison ivy and mayonnaise, the trend is going to keep spreading.

"St. Paul" is clearly a name offensive to non-Christians, and pressure to separate church and state will soon force it to be renamed something less egregious. One popular suggestion is East Minneapolis, but this name poses some additional challenges. What is now West St. Paul (which is, paradoxically, South and East of St. Paul) might easily become West East Minneapolis. To make matters worse, St. Cloud could become North Minneapolis, at which point North Minneapolis might also become West East Minneapolis. You betcha.

Anyway, before they change the name and no one can find it, please join us in St. Paul to celebrate the release of our new CD, Forgotten Lots on Friday, August 12, at 7:30 PM. The concert will be held at the Minnesota History Center, located between the big church (the Cathedral) and the big state building (The Capitol).

-Scott Yoho, Grand Pooh Bah, The Auto Body Experience

Details: Auto Body Experience “Forgotten Lots” CD Release Party -- Friday, August 12 at 7:30 in the 3M Auditorium at the Minnesota History Center, 345 Kellogg Blvd W. in St. Paul. Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door. Kids 6-12 pay half price, under 6 (years, not feet) and you get in free. For advance tickets send checks (payable to Scott Yoho) to Scott Yoho, 1367 Palace Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105 (We’ll pay the return postage.)

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