back to article Fort Wayne officials refuse to slap Harry Baals on public building

Officials in Fort Wayne Indianna have balked at naming the city's latest civic building after its most successful mayor – Harry Baals. The city had thrown open the choice of moniker for its latest erection to the people. A campaign to name the building after Harry Baals soon gathered steam, with citizens eager to commemorate …


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  1. wim

    I wish politicians

    would listen to the voters and maybe grow some balls in the process.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: I wish politicians

      Yes, but you have to wonder at the validity of the vote in this case.

      Put it this way. If I were given some candidate names for a new building to put all the local government types in and one of them was the "Hairy Balls Center", I know where my vote would be going.

      Unless of course the "Richard Head Building" and "Gareth Hunt Offices" were on the same ballot. Then it would be a tough call.

  2. TeeCee Gold badge

    Jim Balls^H^H^H^H^HBaals

    ".....I've gotten through it. I think everybody else can, too."

    Yes, but you weren't gifted with a first name that may be easily misread or pronounced as "Hairy". That's the bit that moves it from the sniggering category to the gales-of-laughter-spraying-coffee-everywhere one.

  3. Roger Ruffley
    Paris Hilton

    They're worried about Baals...??

    Because there's a Gobblers Knob, Indiana, and a French Lick, Indiana that they ought to worry about first.

    But sadly no Paris, Indiana, that I know of.

    1. Quxy

      But there *is* a Paris, Indiana...

      ...about 100km east of Gobblers Knob and French Lick (which, of course, are next to each other...)

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Worried about Harry Baals?

    That's what razors are for surely...

    Anon for obvious reasons.

  5. Chris Hill 1

    Forget the Baals

    The descendants of Hr Wanker aren't afraid of puerile comments.,_Oregon I think he set up the original country store as a newly arrived settler having reached the end of the Oregon trail.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Americans and Wanker

      Americans don't seem to get a lot of British dirty words. I always laugh during the titles of Buffy the Vampire Slayer where, in various series, we get to see Brian Wankum and Thomas Wanker.

      1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Americans and Wanker

        Yeah but in return they find any British 'Johnson' hysterical.

        1. Mike Flugennock


          Actually, I always thought the British term "John Thomas" was a real hoot. I first heard Graham Chapman use that one in "The Meaning Of Life".

      2. Mike Flugennock
        Thumb Up


        I won't speak for the entire USA, but in my part of the country -- mid-Atlantic East Coast -- "wanker" is actually getting fairly popular. I think a lot of it has to do with the Internet exposing us to British slang. I actually prefer a lot of specifically British slang because it sounds so much edgier and nastier somehow: "wanker", "bleeder", "tosser", "snogging", "git", etc.

        I was also introduced to a lot of British slang via Monty Python as a teenager: "I'd like you to meet Mr. Sniveling Little Rat-Faced Git, and his wife, Mrs. Dreary Fat Boring Old..."

        1. Mark123
          Thumb Up


          Surely 'Wanker' has been around in the US for a while. I seem to recall Kelly LeBrock in Weird Science saying "why do you have to be such a wanker, Chet". In fairness she was from NY but raised in London so thats probably why that line was added, but come on, who can forget anything she said or did in that film!

          I think I actually learned the word "Wanker" from that film.

  6. Alex Walsh

    Team Register

    Really Lester, really? :)

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Team Register

      No, actually. And not me either. So there.

  7. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    The populist Hoosiers are loud in their wails

    And the plaques are removed with the name of Mayor Baals

    And the fame of poor Harry, unmatched on this earth,

    Has melted like snow in the tempests of mirth.

  8. Scott 53

    Won't rename one building

    but happy to rename the whole state to "Indianna"...

  9. nyelvmark

    Think about how Ed Balls must feel

    I mean, he's a potential future prime minister, isn't he?

    "Say, what was your prime minister's name again?" - I can't see it somehow.

  10. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

    So funny :)

    "The city had thrown open the choice of moniker for its latest erection to the people"

  11. Anonymous Coward

    I think I remember Harry,...

    wasn't he married to Jenny Taylor?

    1. Mike Flugennock

      Jack Straw

      I'm an old Deadhead from way back, and I have to confess that, while listening to Iraq War news in the mid '00s, I always snickered loudly every time the announcer mentioned the name of your ex-Foreign Secretary, a guy named Jack Straw.

      Sorry about that.

    2. Marketing Hack Silver badge

      Does Ed Balls have an ex-girlfriend....

      That persists in calling him "Dead Balls"??

      Ah, the possibilities....

  12. james4765
    Thumb Up

    Heh, there's a town in Virginia

    called Licking Hole. Seriously. We also have a Bumpass.

    Gotta love this place.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Heh, there's a town in Virginia

      Bumpass is best.

      1. GrahamT

        Pennsylvania wins

        They have a town called Intecourse, with the tourist slogan "Virginia may be for lovers, but only Pennsylvania has Intercourse." And it is in Leacock, near Blue Ball, just north of Paradise.

        1. Gene Cash Silver badge

          Title Needs Moooorrreeee Powwwerrrrr!

          That was on Top Gear on BBC America last Monday, as a matter of fact.

        2. Anonymous Coward

          No, Austria wins

          Austria has Pennsylvania beaten by a large margin. A google image search will sort that out for you.

          "please not so fast"

        3. FionnFile

          Travel News

          And you can go from Intercourse PA to Climax MI riding freeways most of the way. I have lived in or near Fort Wayne for many years, and remember when they changed the name of one of the park roads to "Harry Baals Drive." Visitors loved it, and said it gave them a reason to respect the town when they could not think of any others.

      2. Mike Flugennock

        Bumpass may be nice...

        ...but you absolutely must visit Whorehouse Meadows, Oregon.

        1. Darryl

          Sorry, you all lose

          Next time you're in Canada, go visit the lovely town of Dildo, Newfoundland. It's just down the road from Goobies


        2. BigDaddy

          Bah humbug

          Crapstone, in Devon. Just try growing up in a place called Crapstone. Must be pretty much the only village in Devon not to have at least one pub.

          Also: Shitterton in Dorset, and Pratts Bottom in Kent.

    2. John Sturdy

      and there's a townland in Tipperary...

      There's a townland in Tipperary called Hymenstown.

  13. Subliteratus


    Tickle Cock Bridge in Castleford. And yes, it is for exactly the reason you're thinking about.

  14. Brandon Cord Bradshaw

    I live there

    I hate this place. The city of churches, more churches percpita thant any other city in america. It is also the city of strip clubs.

  15. Tom 35 Silver badge

    The current administration

    Clearly have no Baals at all.

  16. wolfmeister


    there is a Wankum in germany in the n/west

    best one i know of is a chinese restaurant on the old coast road nr Denia in Spain called... Wan-Kee-Long


    lol, re: this story, it's prolly funnier to yanks cos of their pronunciation. I remember when i was at school stateside as a kid and there was this kid called 'harry' in my class.. i remember the teacher repeatedly correcting this pronunciation in our class.

    "No Todd!! (or whoever said it) his name is HARRY, not 'Hairy'... is he covered in hair?"

    and we'd all roar with laughter.

  17. lovebird


    If they didn't want suggestions they shouldn't have asked. Only an idiot wouldn't have for seen the former mayor's name nominated AND the most popular. This is a teaching moment for our city. Embrace our history, of which Harry Baals was a big part of. People voted for him 4 times for a reason and I doubt if it had anything to do with his name, at least after the first election.

  18. therose

    Coffee County, Alabama

    And what would be wrong with Coffee County, Alabama? I am a resident of that county and it's a beautiful place to be! :) Don't poke fun in our direction please! Lol!

  19. FionnFile

    Harry's wife?

    I was at a funeral yesterday and learned from a couple of ladies there that Harry's wife was named Minnie. This must be a (sub)urban legend.

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