Yesterday Michael Rose, a business reporter for the Statesman Journal, asked in a Twitter tweet, "What would be a good city slogan for Salem Ore.?"
Oh, great question. My mind is cynically-inclined when it comes to describing Salem's positive qualities, or more accurately, lack thereof. So it didn't take me long to respond to Michael with quite a few suggestions.
Waking up this morning, after my brain had unconsciously incubated additional embryonic seeds of cynicism, I came up with some more. This is my current Salem city slogan oeuvre.
Salem, the blandburger sandwiched between Portland and Eugene's spicy buns
Salem, after you visit just once you'll say, "Now I've seen it all!"
Salem, a great place to buy gas on your way to Portland or Eugene
Salem, visit us and your hometown will look so much more exciting
Salem, the town that could, if it would, but hasn't
Salem, gateway to the Woodburn Mall and downtown Albany
Salem, great places to visit are just an hour away in every direction
Salem, the town that never wakes
Salem, where manic-depressives are cured of what ails them before the hyphen
Salem, a state capital where the Governor sometimes wants to live
Salem, come for the prisons and mental hospital, then stay on our streets
Salem, you'll be surprised how close to Boring we are
Salem, lots of downtown free parking, few places you'll want to go
Salem, so special, there's nothing like us between Keizer and north Albany
Salem, home of... um, let me think... oh, lots of homes!
I suspect there's little reason for me to hope that the Chamber of Commerce will phone and say, "We want to make one of your ideas the official city slogan of Salem."
However, scrolling through Wikipedia's list of U.S. city nicknames (both formal and informal), I found there's some precedent for dark humor. For example...
Forestville - Poison Oak Capital of the World
Pacifica - Fog Capital of California
Gallup - Drunk Driving Capital of America
Utica - The City That God Forgot
Cleveland - Mistake on the Lake
Beaver - Cow Chip Capital of the World
Bellingham - City of Subdued Excitement
Forest Junction - You Can Get There From Here
And Salem can't let itself be shown up, humor-wise, by my favorite slogan that I came across in the Oregon category:
Talent - Our name speaks for itself