Nothing on this earth ever stays the same, not even the names of its great cities.
Constantinople became Istanbul. Bombay went bye-bye in favor of Mumbai. Saigon is long gone, replaced by Ho Chi Minh City.
Our favorite municipal switcheroo belongs to the former Hot Springs, New Mexico. In 1950, it was renamed Truth or Consequences to persuade producers of the popular game show to film an episode there. It worked, and the name stuck. (Unlike Google, Kansas. The city of Topeka briefly flirted with that name change to attract Internet investment.)
Nothing says American ingenuity like renting your name to the highest bidder or hitching your wagon to the coolest fad.
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It is the reason why a formerly unincorporated community in West Pierce County decided in the late 1800s to call itself University Place — to win the University of Puget Sound, which went to Tacoma instead.
And it is why now is the time for UP pooh-bahs to change the city’s name to Chambers Bay.
It needs to happen pronto — as in, the next 40 days, before the TV-watching world beholds the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay in all its splendor.
We’ve seen the future, and it’s all about branding, baby.
Also, the city could sell its old name to College Place, Washington, home of Walla Walla University. Rumor has it they’re looking to upgrade.
Get out of the dark ages: Some UP yokels are grumbling that they don’t like Whole Foods at Chambers Bay, the name of the new super(duper)market that opened Thursday at 35th and Bridgeport.
And some cranks are still upset about the Village at Chambers Bay, the name chosen by developers after dumping the albatross once known as University Place Town Center.
Phooey on them. And we thumb our Nose at Deputy Mayor Javier Figueroa, who declared at a City Council meeting last month: “We have no intent, nor is there any conversation, on changing the city of University Place to Chambers Bay. Not now, and I don’t see it happening. At least if I can help it.”
Here’s the thing, sir. You can’t help it. Just rip off the Band-Aid and get it done.
A few civic leaders first floated the name change in 2012, when the pubescent city was on the cusp of adulthood. This year UP turns 20, so do what grownups do: Give up your last baby teeth of innocence, and try to make a few bucks while you’re at it.
Hot Springs, New Mexico, wasn’t too proud to sell its soul to a game show.
And it actually has hot springs.
Breaker, breaker, that’s a great nickname: As local acronyms go, UP has always sounded a bit, shall we say, crude.
The shorthand for Chambers Bay, on the other hand, offers rich potential for tourism, signage and the like.
“Now leaving CB: Come on back, good buddy!”
Other city name changes we’d like to see: Because we always support truth in labeling.
• Tacoma » MultiCareVille.
• Lakewood » Upper JBLM.
• Puyallup » Washington State Fairtopia.
• DuPont » IntelTown.
• Seattle » Starbucks (not to be confused with Starbuck, a town in Columbia County).
• Ruston » Tacoma.
• Federal Way » Weyerhaeuser Way.
Wait, the Big W moved out? Then how about…
• Federal Way » Wild Waves Way.
Boxers or briefs, but please no thongs: Normally we don’t parade around in skivvies, except while sleepwalking at a state campground. We might make an exception for the Undy Run/Walk at Cheney Stadium on June 6.
The 5K event, sponsored by the Colon Cancer Alliance and the makers of Dulcolax constipation reliever, offers participants a tour of a larger-than-life inflatable colon and a commemorative pair of boxer shorts instead of the standard race T-shirt.
Say no more. You had us at giant inflatable colon.
It’ll be a great warmup for a couple of other fitness events. One week later, you can add a clothing layer for Tacoma’s annual Sound to Narrows run. A week after that, you can strip off all layers and lube your thighs for the solstice bike ride in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood.
For more information, go online to undyrunwalk.org and click on Tacoma.
No sun hat for you!: Kudos to our own Emerald Queen Casino for taking the moral high ground with a firm stance against teen parenting.
The local slothouse is sponsoring a promotional giveaway for moms unlucky enough to spend Mother’s Day watching two bad baseball teams play at Safeco Field.
The first 10,000 moms 21 and older through the gates will receive a free Mariners sun hat!
All moms 20 and younger will receive a free sunburn.
More city name changes:
• Roy » Siegfriedand
• McKenna » Inslee. (Washington voters have spoken.)
• Fox Island » Fox Sports Island. (The network buys it for scenic shots of Chambers Bay golf course.)
• Fife » Emerald Queensborough.