From Seattle writer and consultant Matt Rosenberg...

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Boring: Not For Long

June 29, 2004

It's hard being named Brilliant, but even tougher to be Boring, the moniker for this little community just east of Portland, Oregon.

Yesterday, on the last leg of a nine-day vacation in Mount Shasta, California, our family was driving back home to Seattle, headed northwest on Oregon Route 26 out of Madras, past the southwest side of glorious Mount Hood. Approaching the Columbia River Gorge and Washington State, we came upon a big green sign for Route 212 to "Boring Oregon City."

Two different places, but you gotta dock the Oregon State Department of Transportation a few points for tone-deaf public relations. Or perhaps salute their sly growth-management propaganda.

Anyhew, trash talk won't work. Boring isn't a city quite yet, but is poised for major growth in coming decades, as we'll see momentarily.

Because it's unincorporated, a search for Boring, Oregon turns up a few too many prefab Internet directories with howler links leading nowhere such as, "Boring Discount Travel," or "Boring Apartments/Boring People/Books About Boring." Not to mention Churches Boring Oregon. Hopefully there aren't too many of those.

Boring has some character, tho. If you're looking for a paint horse stud, give the Flying W Ranch in Boring a call. And talks to Boring librarian Evelyn Hopp, pictured here (down the page a bit) weeding a ditch. She claims Boring is anything but.

Then there's the Boring Amateur Radio Club. They say once you join you're in for life, and suicide is the only way out. I suppose I'd give that some thought if I was a ham radio enthusiast.

Or better yet, begin agitating for Wi-Fi in Boring. With the expansion of metro Portland's urban growth boundary now including 12,000 acres in the Damascus/Boring area, new development there looms. Expect some 25,000 new residences, a town center and 1,600 acres of "employment land," according to the Damascus/Boring Concept Plan.

An incorporation vote this fall could result in Boring becoming part of the new city of Damascus. That would be a shame. It oughtta be the other way around.

Just imagine. Boring Jobs Center. Boring Town Square. Boring Ridge. Boring Estates. Boring Heights. Boring Starbucks. Boring Unitarian Universalist Church. The Democratic Party of Boring. The Boring Green Party. The Boring City Commission on Race and Gender Equity. The Boring Book Club. The Boring Men's Drum Circle. The Boring Nose Flute Chorus. Boring Tavern. Boring Landscaping. Boring Pressure Wash. Boring Insurance. Boring Bowl.

And, of course: Boring Little League.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at June 29, 2004 09:05 AM

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Let's not heap to much ridicule on Boring Oregon. They might change the name of the town. It's on the way to Mount Hood. When I was a regular skier, I would always laugh out loud when I passed the "Boring Oregon City" exit sign. It's one of a number of memoires of summer skiing on the mountain.

Posted by: Gary B at June 29, 2004 03:58 PM

Things could be worse. A man suffered a heart attack near Snohomish recently and crashed his car. His name: John Weewie. A friend told me she worked with a woman who married a man named HeeHee.

Posted by: Lorna at June 29, 2004 06:04 PM

Gary, far be it from me to heap ridicule on Boring, Oregon. What a location, twixt the Gorge and Mt. Hood. As detailed review of my link to the Boring ham radio club will reveal, exploiting the town's name is - in fact - the savvy tack.

With growth will come counter-intuitive marketing of Boring, ensnaring jaded hipsters. I can see Portland-headquartered ad meisters Weiden+Kennedy jockeying for the Boring account one day, yielding incomprehensibly hip award-winning ads in Portland's city magazine, for starters.

The future of Boring is bright.

Plus there's the competition issue: how to truly stand apart from Boring, Maryland.

Lorna, thanks for the odd people names. Bet you never heard of Zeke Zzzypt (his legal name); at one time the last guy listed in the Chicago white pages. I'm guessing he probably died of, ah, boredom - not a car crash.

Posted by: Matt Rosenberg at June 29, 2004 06:27 PM

Matt, thanks very much for your Boring travelogue. As it happens, my wife and I will be driving through there next week, and she is now more convinced than ever that that is where I belong.

Posted by: Tom Rekdal at June 30, 2004 08:12 AM

Tom, you belong in Boring, Oregon no more than just SE, down the road, in Zig Zag, Oregon. Which is to say, not at all.

I'm not quite sure Government Camp, Oregon is the place for you, either. Perhaps Rhododendron?

Posted by: Matt Rosenberg at June 30, 2004 08:14 PM

What is wrong with you Lorna? Your posts are incredulous, off topic, feckless works of tripe that are best left in the toilet!

Other than one I saw of yours about a kid acting out in class and getting special treatment, (that was off-topic, but lucid) you're helping to convince men of their intellectual superiority by proving it! Most [your posts] are like the last "jump-in" I saw in the conservative string. You had nothing valuable to add when the debate was in full swing, but, at the end, jumped in on the side of who you believed to be the winner... with a statement that makes you look ignorant! (acting like the uninformed masses, trying to "back a winner" after the race)Tupac comments on the Phish string. Simple tv comments on the Sports string. Laughing at Cosby's comments? (He wasn't joking.)

Sister please, think before you blog. At least stay on topic.

Posted by: tina at July 1, 2004 01:07 PM

Don't forget Boring High School!

Posted by: Lisa West at July 13, 2004 07:46 AM

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