Naming Your Place in the World


The summer sun was relentless as it burned down on Jose and Albert. It was Albert’s idea to start a landscaping business after college. They’d been at it two months and already they were regretting the idea.

“I’m melting,” moaned Albert.

“Me, too.”

“This place is either too hot or too cold.”

Jose laughed. “There are only two days when it’s perfect.”

“Which ones?”

“A day in 1908 and one in 2005,” said Jose.

The two sat in the shade, sweat pouring down their faces.

“I wish I could find the perfect place,” mused Albert as he took a long drink from his water bottle.

“I went to Utopia, Texas once. Guess what? It isn’t,” said Jose.

Albert chortled. They were both too hot to laugh out loud.

“They should only name places like they really are,” said Jose.

“What d’ya mean? Like Swift Current, Saskatchewan?”

“Never heard of it,” said Jose.

“No, but you know what the river’s like,” said Albert.

“That’s like Quemado, Texas,” said Jose.

“Is that Spanish for Swift Current?”

“It means ‘burnt’. The land around the town is, like, burnt from the sun. There is such a thing as Rio Frio, Texas. That means ‘cold river’.”


“Literally, man.”

“That wasn’t what I meant,” said Albert.

“I know, but still,” said Jose. He took a long swig from his water bottle. Sweat poured down his face.

“What about Boring, Oregon?”

“You made that up.”

“I didn’t. It exists. Google it,” said Albert. “But that’s what I mean. Cities should have names that tell us what they’re like.”

“Alright, then. Rename a few places. What would you call Paris, France?”

Albert thought for a second. “Snooty, France.”

“London, England?”

“Pompous, England.”

“Washington, D.C.”

“Lyingtown, District of Corruption.”

They both laughed.

“Nailed it,” said Jose, giving Albert a fist bump. “That still doesn’t answer you’re original question about the perfect place.”

Albert stared at the half-finished landscaping. His mind drifted off in thought.

“I don’t know, man. But I do know what I’d name it,” said Albert.

“What’s that?”

“Contentment,” said Albert.

“Amen to that, bro.”


About vanyieck

There is nothing about me that is more interesting than you. I am a man. I have a wife and family. I have a career. I have two dogs. I
This entry was posted in fiction, flash fiction, humor, humour, London, Paris, short fiction, short story, story, Washington DC and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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