Friday, January 10, 2003

My friend Patrick sent me an email taking issue with my calling Columbia, Missouri (population 80,000) a small town. Patrick lives in Washington, Iowa, where the towns are really small: "[T]he entire south side of the main street in 'downtown' Ainsworth (a town very near to where we live) is taken up by the grain elevator. It, however, is considered a fair sized town in these parts as it has two bars. (There used to be only one, but when Rudy and his wife got divorced, she opened a competing bar.)"

I should know better. My dad grew up in La Cygne, Kansas. How small is La Cygne? Well, I was once sitting in the restaurant (yeah, that's right. The restaurant.) with my niece and nephew when this old boy who was walking past stopped, backed up, and gave me a hard look. I had never seen this man before in my entire life, but he looked me up and down, then said, "Now, which one of the Terry boys is your dad?"

As a result of Patrick's letter, the following policy will be in force here at Yet Another Damn Blog: The word "city" will be used to refer to any municipality of 500,000 or more souls. Smaller municipalities will be referred to as "town" with only those towns with a population less than 20,000 being considered "small towns".

Now, when it comes to "city" there will have to be some rules as well. For instance, I'm sure citizens of New York will resent being lumped in with Springfield, MO, but thems the breaks. I will note for the record, however, that Springfield is a small city, whereas New York is so big that it has effectively usurped the name of the state in which it's located. Geographical peculiarities dictate that "The City" may refer to either St. Louis or Kansas City due to the author's placement more or less equidistant between them. Kansas City is, however, the more likely referent, as the author has family there, and it's a much more fun place to visit. "The Big City" will usually refer to Chicago, but as the author rarely visits Chicago, it is not expected that this will come up very often.

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