As we head towards the end of the year, I thought some might enjoy a moment to pause and join the RiotACT in a silly game. Watching Monty Python all those years ago, my attention would be immediately focused when one of the Pythons would say with a serious or exasperated face “And now for something completely different…” because I knew something crazy or silly would eventuate.
For years my friends and I have played the Canberra suburbs alternative name game. We all know there is a reason each suburb of Canberra was named and that reason can easily be researched online. Usually a suburb will be named after a person of note, a politician, or a geographical location. But that is all a bit predictable. If John Cleese lived in Canberra, I think he would probably like this game. It goes something like this:
- Question: Why was the suburb of Melba named Melba?
Answer: The suburb of Melba was named after the dessert Peach Melba. This was the very favourite dessert of a young woman called Nellie Mitchell, so she changed her name.
- Question: Who is the suburb of Higgins called after?
Answer: Well, depending on your age, you might say either Henry Higgins or Missy Higgins
So the challenge is for us to collectively come up with a few more alternative interpretations. I constantly add to the list, and in recent years a few new suburb names have been gazetted, including (Emma) Thompson and Kenny (Koala). The most obvious are (Errol) Flynn; (Twiggy) Forrest, and foodies favourite Manuka (honey). If we run out of puff we can stretch the rules and creatively imagine Ainslie is named after Ainsley Gotto, but I don’t think we need to bend the rules just yet.
So here is the challenge for everyone. See what you can come up with for your suburb, or if it is too difficult, pick another suburb and give us your own zany alternative. Why not start with these fairly obvious ones: Russell, Taylor, Theodore and Dunlop and share in comments. A more difficult one is Duffy which I will reveal on the last day of the year if no-one else gets it.
I will be delighted if anyone can come up with a whole lot more, although I do have more up my sleeve if the game slows! So I invite you to join in for a bit of end of year levity…