Random Thoughts While Driving in Waco

By Jack Smith

Last month we visited about the funniest town names in various states in the U.S. of A.

McLennan County has some unusual, if not funny, town names of its own.

Waco, for instance, was named after an Indian tribe. (I’m sorry, a distinguished, like-thinking group of Indigenous and/or Native Americans. Somehow when kids today play Cowboys and Indigenous Americans it just doesn’t have quite the same ring.)

What about Elm Mott? My dictionary doesn’t have the word “mott” in it. It has “motte,” which means a hill upon which a castle is built, but not “mott.” “Mottle” means a colored spot, and I guess that elm leaves could have colored spots, but would you name a town after one?

Where in Lacy Lakeview can you get a view of a lake, or a Lacy for that matter? What does Beverly Hills have in common with the one in California? Speeding tickets? Who was Beverly, and where are the hills? Is there just one spring in China Spring? And what’s Chinese about it? A high MSG level?

I’m sure you heard that the Boy Scouts are going to begin to allow girls as members. That is so strange. I guess it’s about money. Next we will have men in the Miss America competition and cats at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The new normal is abnormal.

There is a restaurant in Austin called El Arroyo. “Arroyo” can translate as “ditch,” and there is a ditch along the property. The restaurant has good crowds and good food, and it’s famous for its signs placed on one of those mobile message boards. One of the recent messages said, “Remains to be seen if glass coffins become popular.” Another said, “I want to grow my own food, but I can’t find any taco seeds.” Before the last presidential election the sign said, “Is your refrigerator running? Because I might vote for it.”

If someone tells you they are speechless, they just lied.

I recently had a health issue of being light-headed and kind of weak, and I was losing weight. After meeting with several doctors and being subjected to one of each test they had ever given before, nothing specific was found to be wrong, and gradually I got better. Time heals all wounds and many health issues. Anyway, I’m back to normal. Back to being heavy-headed.

Vicki, like most women (and men), is disgusted by roaches. If we call them “water bugs,” it doesn’t seem so gross. But they are gross. We have a pest control company that does a good job of keeping them away, but they will never go away forever. Cockroaches are among the world’s oldest terrestrial beings, having come after ferns but before reptiles. Some extinct species date back more than 320 million years.

Scientists say it is safe to say Texas has more cockroaches than any other state. Where did their name come from? The Spanish, from whom we get the word “cockroach,” were very insightful about the bug. They called it cucaracha, a derivative of their word for excrement. Well played, Spanish namers.

I have talked from time to time about my dog Parker, who I usually referred to as Bad Dog Parker. Parker became ill, and we took him to the veterinarian (should vets be called dogtors?). Parker, who was 8 years old, had developed a very quick and serious cancer issue, and we had to put him to sleep. Rest in peace, Parker. You will be missed. You were a Good Dog.

IF I WERE KING: Roaches would eat all the mosquitoes and then become extinct.