Before anyone gets upset, I’m not declaring Perthshire (in Scotland, for non-UK visitors) or Oregon, USA boring. But when I was thinking about what I find boring this morning, I was concerned that this could turn into a whinge post. I looked up the word boring on Google to find if it had any alternative/ancient/quirky meanings I could work on, but had barely got past ‘not interesting; tedious’ when I spotted Boring in Oregon in the sidebar. So I clicked to see results for that instead – and came across the kind of quirky stuff that I love.
It seems the people of Boring in Oregon have trouble persuading people that it’s a great place to visit. So when the inhabitants of Dull in Perthshire (well, the members of the women’s book club, actually) approached them with the idea of twinning up for the sake of a laugh and good publicity in 2012, they voted yes.
Apparently the two places can’t be official twins because they’re too different (who knew there were RULES for that kind of thing??). Boring is a town with over 12,000 people and Dull is a tiny village with just 84 residents (although obviously big enough to have a single sex book club? Don’t even get me started on the equality issue…). So they’ve gone for a ‘declaration of pairing’ – sounds as bizarre as Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow’s ‘Conscious Uncoupling’ to me!
Dull (Gaelic derivation: may come from snare, meadow or coffin strap) and Boring (named after William H Boring, an early homesteader in the area), have really got into it. Dull got a new sign and marked the initial announcement with a street party in June that year, while inn Boring, they have a Dull and Boring Day on August 9th. There are bagpipes and ice-cream, apparently. Blimey!
And now the Australian town of Bland is keen to join. Well, they can’t use a ‘declaration of pairing’, can they. There’s three of them. It’s bad English.
So there you go – quirky and a lot more interesting than boring things. I find too many things to mention exceedingly boring indeed, but chief gripes would be people regurgitating prejudices they’ve grown up with and have never analysed for themselves – you know the ones. “Gypsies are thieves” (oh, do you know several hundred then, so you can at least make a judgment with some kind of actual basis, flawed though that may be?). “Homosexuals shouldn’t get married because marriage is for procreation” (where shall we start? There’s no marriage service in the bible, it’s been made up by ordinary common-or-garden humans; marriage didn’t exist in the way we think of it until a few hundred years ago; marriage doesn’t need to be just a Christian concept; if marriage is for procreation, let’s not let infertile impostors or women over 55 through that door with their wedding gear on, then. How dare they wish to get married when they’re obviously not doing so to produce children. Begone, elderly couple who just want to be together and young couple praying the IVF will work before they run out of cash).
My second most boring thing would be the increasing number of ‘documentaries’, many on supposedly ‘documentary’ channels, that are not documentaries at all but just a group of people with anger management issues posturing, arguing and generally acting up for the camera. From which I lean zilch, other than that the USA seems to love putting people on TV who show them in the worst possible light as a country. Thank heavens I don’t judge any country by a handful of its inhabitants…