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Friday, April 23, 2004

For Sale: Our National Dignity

Price: Make an Offer

Yesterday I was at the game watching the Seattle Mariners take a 2-8 beating at the hands of the Oakland A’s. The ball park here is called Safeco Field in honor of the corporate sponsor that put a few pennies in the pot after local taxes paid for the lion’s share of construction. Safeco is some sort of insurance agency. The basketball arena in Seattle is named after a bank. This seems to be the wave of the future, making you wonder when the time will come when cities are renamed after their corporate sponsors.

Lots of people now write on personal web sites, or blogs as they are called. What sets this blog apart from the rest is that I actually research the things that I write about. I took a trip to the drugstore in my neighborhood to research companies that may one day be among those bidding to rename our local institutions.

I looked at the aisle categories. A less tireless researcher would have taken the easy route and gone directly to Antacids/Laxatives/Incontinent Aids. I did too, but that wasn’t the only place I looked. I could have ended this essay of questionable humor value by asking how you would feel about going to see a game at a stadium named after a hemorrhoid cream. That would have got a cheap laugh, but I’m looking for more than that. I’m looking for several cheap laughs.

If I would have stopped there I wouldn’t have stumbled upon Boudreaux’s Butt Paste: Goes on and cleans off easily. Pleasant scent. Pleasant scent is something we all look for in butt paste but I don’t want a baseball stadium to carry that name. A less devoted writer wouldn’t have ferreted out Fleet Enema for Children. I feel that just writing that will get me in trouble so naming a football stadium after that product would be totally inappropriate--or am I just being too conservative?.

Will we allow any corporation to purchase the names of our parks and cities? In the Foot Care/Detergent/Light Globes aisle I came across Zim’s Crack Cream. Your guess is as good as mine as to what that is for, but surely we will draw the line at Zim’s Crack Cream sponsorship. Please tell me that we aren’t going to let companies place their corporate logos on military uniforms. I’ll bet that the Bush people have thought about it.

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