Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Ahhh! LaGrange

Well, I might as well trot out one more story related to Chicago suburbs and their somewhat lame attempts at self-promotion.

When we first moved to Brookfield and would occasionally pop into the nearby suburb of LaGrange for some errands, I noted some banners they had lining the streets of their lovely downtown -- they simply said "Ahhh! LaGrange", which struck me as kind of humorous. Okay -- I can see "Ahhh! Chocolate" or "Ahhh! A crazy man wielding an ax!" but I have trouble taking "Ahhh! LaGrange" seriously.

I mentioned seeing these banners to a fellow west suburbs coworker, who, minutes later, looked for and found a promotional website for LaGrange -- http://ahhhlagrange.com.

This also struck me as humorous -- having an interjection like "Ahhh" in a website address. Are we expecting people to remember the degree of "ahness" that LaGrange is? God forbid they visit ahhlagrange.com, or even worse, ahlagrange.com.

So, flash-forward to about six months ago. My wife drops me off at our dentist in LaGrange on the way to pick up our eldest son from preschool. I get my teeth cleaned and then have the dentist's office call me a cab (it's the easiest thing for me to do with my wife busy with our one car, and no easy mass transportation options available).

I strike up a conversation with the twentysomething fella who is driving my cab. I ask where he is from. When he mentions he's from LaGrange, I launch into the above story, and gently ridicule his town for their goofy slogan.

He mentions he is the son of an advertising man. But not just any ad man, but the man who came up with "Ahhh! LaGrange".

"Ah man, I'm sorry. I hope I didn't offend you," I said.

He said he wasn't offended. He did say he would pass on my comments to his dad. I asked if he could tone down my sarcasm a bit, though.

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