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Subject: Prologue - St-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!
(Posted on Aug 12, 2014 at 04:48PM ) Tags:
When a place has a unique name like this one, it sticks in your head. In my case, St-Louis-du-Ha! Ha! goes back decades to when I was a teenager and working with some old guy called Lulu as mentioned at the start of Wedding Chronicles.


Where does the name come from and what does it mean? It ‘s a small place in the province of Quebec and it appears the basic origins of the name are derived from an old French word, ha-ha, for an unexpected obstacle, as explained here in this Condé Nast Traveler piece. More on the word etymology can be found here and here, focusing on the "wall" aspect. 

Note its location on the map just above Maine, so maybe, one day, if deemed of strategic importance like Crimea (or just because it has a really kool name), the whole area could be annexed by America. 

The place’s main claim to fame seems to be that it is the only settlement name in the world with two exclamation points. There is Westward Ho! In Devon, England, but with only one exclamation point at play, it’s not nearly the same and must be only half as good. There are actually three other names in Quebec with the same telltale  “Ha! Ha!” action going down, with a pair of Baie des Ha! Ha! (bays) and a Rivière Ha! Ha! (river). The double-down bay name in particular reminds me of a related posting months back on the repetitive (and confusing) usage of Saint(e)-François(e) throughout the province historically. 

So apart from the name itself, what else is kool, groovy and interesting about this place? Ever inquisitive, I did a little digging in both English and French. The town has its own basic website, but is in French only alas, so guess they aren’t really trying to push the global tourism thing. Remember, we’re in Quebec after all. Français seulement, mon ami (French only, my friend).

A few touristy type things are listed on the town's website with a big park, garden, campground on nearby Lac Dôle (lake), golf course, and an astronomy center in the local area. Note this last element is even nailed prominently in the local coat of arms. 


Hey, if all that doesn’t excite you to go visit the place, maybe this stuff does, going back  to 2012 and a boucane or “burnout” festival of sorts. It appears this has been held there at least a couple times now. Schweet!


No doubt this is another way to get your town on the map. Maybe this kind of enthralling activity turns your crank big time, but it's not worth the trip for most, especially if the distance is large and you have better things to do. Hey, when you’re cracking 1,318 on the population front, there can’t be that much going on most of the time, or even on a Saturday night for that matter.

I tried to dig a litle deeper for even more exciting stuff going on there, but didn’t really come up with anything more of note. Go figure. Bob be trying his best here, to put global hotspots in their best possible light and with pository marketing spin. 

Sometimes, you just gotta do what you gotta do, like some single guy who keeps hitting weddings all around the world. Call it what you will, be it hobby, affliction, or maybe it all just happened by coink-e-dink. And no, I haven’t been to a wedding in Saint.-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!, but otherwise have been to another place about half that population size, somewhere deep in remote Canuckistan. That one, #93, is for the second book in the trilogy.