Monday, August 15, 2011

What the Hell Is A Goethals

Last week I drove over something called a Goethals Bridge to get from Staten Island into New Jersey. Apparently named for designer of the Panama Canal, George Washington Goethals–himself named after a bridge–this bridge takes you from one type of hell into another. But what exactly is a a goethals?

Actually, I don't care. I just want to know how to pronounce it. "Ge-thals?" I think it'd be gethels. Mostly because one of those vowels is probably silent, and I don't think it'd be "goth-les." What would gothles be? I've heard of "cockles," both as a stew and as the deepest recesses of one's heart. I suppose the gothles of one's heart is where all kinds of sad, teenage poetry come from. Maybe Edgar Allan Poe just had a cardiac condition where his cockles were enlarged.

Or, you know, I could just hover my mouse over the phonetic link and see that it is "gothles" and this is all suddenly highly amusing to me on a completely different level.

And now I'm picturing Teddy Roosevelt wearing a lot of black and listening to Morrissey as he digs a trench and hopes to no-god that either he or everyone he went to high school with catches malaria.

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