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One Good Thing - Public votes gone awry

Recently, Minnesota added a new plow to their arsenal and they named it Plowy McPlowface.

The name was decided by public vote and I absolutely love it. I always find myself laughing when I read the results of votes left up to the mercy of public nomination. It never ends well for the organizer but it usually has hilarious results.

The name chosen for Plowy is a reference to a British research boat named Boaty McBoatface that paid homage to an owl named Hooty McOwlface.

The recent addition of Plowy sent me down a rabbit hole of public votes that haven't gone according to plan for the one hosting it.

Beyond poor naming decisions, the public managed to Rick Roll the Shea Stadium, which is an enduring meme where someone tricks you into listening to “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley by suggesting it’s something else. He also squeaked by the Beatles and U2 to be “Best Musical Act Ever” as decided by public voters.

It doesn’t end at inanimate objects or music, though, as a blue whale was nearly named Mister Splashy Pants thanks to online voters. He did get to retain some of his dignity and he’s been more appropriately named “The Splashy-Panted One” by the researchers in charge.

Big names like Kellogg have also “welcomed” public suggestion as well. In 2004 they asked South Korean residents to choose which flavor of Chex they wanted: chocolate or green onion. Tricksters abound, they were overwhelmed with votes for green onion despite their very compelling marketing campaign portraying Chaka, the green onion’s character, as a villain. Kellogg quietly discarded the results and plunged ahead with their intended winning flavor, chocolate, resulting in dismay from the public. They recently surfaced a green onion flavor, seeking to balm the wounds of their voters years after the incident. As expected, the flavor is just as bad as it sounds.

Whenever you let the public have a hand in things, especially on a virtual level such as internet polls, it can get out of hand very fast. With the shield of anonymity afforded by the internet and the lack of skin in the game, people like to get fast and loose with how much they’ll “troll” otherwise serious matters. Plowy and the others probably could have had a very fancy name but, I have to admit, Plowy McPlowface is actually really endearing.

Some honorable mentions from Plowy’s race were Darth Blader and The Truck Formerly Known as Plow. There’s a certain ring to that last one, I think The Artist Previously Known as Prince might have gotten a kick out of that.

Standard reporter Nikki Childers can be reached at 473-2191.