Thought of the Day: Stranger than Fiction

Yesterday at work I learned about a mortgage company called ‘Buy or Refi Financial’ (which is rather like having a store called ‘Get Food Grocery’), located in ‘Surprise, AZ.’

Yes, they’re a real company. Doing quite well, as a matter of fact; nearly a full 5-star rating on Google. I can only imagine that they get quite a few double-takes when people first hear the name…which may be why they’re doing so well, come to think about it.

By the way, Surprise, AZ got its name because the founder commented that she “would be surprised if the town ever amounted to much.” Today it’s best known as the site where the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers hold their spring training (and, apparently, buy or refinance houses if they take a mind).

I imagine a high-tolerance for puns is also a pre-requisite for residency.

“Let’s give him a genuine Surprise welcome!…No, Jerry, it ain’t too late for that just because he can see us.”
“Now, Jerry, when I talk about ‘Surprise traffic laws’, I don’t mean you can change the speed limit any time you like….”
“What say we give him a real Surprise farewell? No, Jerry, put that shotgun down!”

People are weird and do weird and wonderful things. If you’re one of those writing types, keep this in mind while crafting your worlds and characters (among contemporary writers, Dean Koontz is one of the best at this; just about every single one of his characters tends to have some big, glaring quirk or off-kilter backstory. I actually think he overdoes it a little at times, but I’ll take that over the alternative).

And regardless, don’t be afraid to apply it in your own life as well.

One thought on “Thought of the Day: Stranger than Fiction

  1. Arizonans are just good at whimsical town names. I actually made one of my characters a resident of Carefree (northeastern Maricopa County, pop. 3,690), just because I couldn’t resist the suggestion that the nearby Interstate 17 was the one original Carefree Highway. (“Picking up the pieces of my sweet shattered dream…”)

    Liked by 2 people

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