kum_and_go1In the not-too-distant past, I cribbed a line from either a friend, a movie or some other source that basically went along these lines: when declaring myself dictator of the world or some other such nonsense I would add at the end “and I want the letter Q stricken from the English language!” This would ensure that anyone in the near vicinity was aware that I do, in fact, ride on that razor thin wire separating pure genius and sheer madness.

But while perusing the local Thrifty-Nickel-Saver-Penny-Pincher-Coupon-Classified paper that arrives EVERY Thursday in EVERY mailbox in this region, I was struck by a recurring theme that I’ve noticed in various locales around the Midwest. This theme is centered around an attempt to be clever by replacing the letters “C” and “Q” with a “K” at every turn. This results in groups named the”Krazy Kwilters” or convenience marts like the “Kountry Korner Store”. This must be a redneck version of trying to add “class” to an institution, similar to when people throw an “e” in after words like fair or old when describing cut rate flea markets or pay-by the-hour motels. And for unreasonable reasons this upsets me. Why?

Welcome to my mental hell. These are the kinds of things that torment me. Now, every time I pass by a Kwaint Kar Wash, the rage begins to build. I believe that it reached its zenith when one regional gas and rob chain named, idiotically, “Git N’ Go” was bought out and replaced by an even more ludicrously titled company: “Kum & Go”. Aside from all of the ludicrous and lewd references that abounded shortly after taking over (one co-worker went on a satirical tirade suggesting that here in this part of the country we ought to refer to it as “Ejaculate & Evacuate”), the fact was not lost on me that this was becoming a personal assault on my hardcore spelling values. Even 80’s metal band Quiet Riot got it right with their hit “Cum On Feel The Noise”……

On the one hand I might posit that the fury is directed at parallels to the Klan, originators of such name butchery. That seems like a decent place to direct the agitation, but I have doubts as to the fact that I’m that altruistic. Everyone hates the Klan; nothing original there. Is it false advertising that is so maddening? No, because when I see the signs on telephone poles advertising CEO pay from home stuffing envelopes, it doesn’t anger me, I’m just slightly incredulous that anyone would pay attention to such tripe. I stumbled around the vagaries of my discontent for quite awhile (something like 7 minutes) when a phone call from RoJo brought it all back into focus. He reminded me of one of the reasons I like folks out in this part of the country: Midwestern sensibilities. Sure, they’ll look both ways before rushing through a crosswalk, and yes, they will collectively pray for your broken toe to heal rapidly, but that’s not what I admired most.

No, what I like most is that, in general, people out here refuse to buy into the hype. They don’t put much stock in Lindsay Lohan. They don’t fawn over the weather because there is absolutely NO predicting the weather in the next hour, much less the next week. They know the value of hard earned calluses, of not being a sleazebag just to make it in this world. Khaki Dockers, Ford F-150’s, casseroles, and the music of Neil Diamond……these things are all sensible. And I kinda like the no-nonsense of it all; it serves to balance out chaotic elements of life. And in this one way, this inconceivable way, a crack has appeared in the foundation of Midwestern Sensibilities. This bizzare obsession with mis-spelling as a way to stand out contradicts the very notion of being sensible. It’s not cute; you’re not coy…..you’re simply angering me in much the same way screaming car salesmen on the tube cause me to scream back at the television and ensure I will NEVER buy from such howler monkeys. Like asbestos and DDT this flagrant misuse of K MUST be banned. Immediately. I insist.

You hear me, owners of the Kwik Stop? You listening Karl of Karl’s Kash & Payday Loan? I’m getting more irritated with every breath……so nock it off.