Thursday, November 5, 2009

"OBX" Rated More Suitable Name




On Tuesday, voters in North Carolina's Currituck, Dare, Hyde, and Carteret Counties passed a referendum to officially change the name of the Outer Banks to OBX.  Dawn Jakowski, chairwoman of "Outer Bankers for a New Name", said the old name has been bugging her since she moved to Duck from Pittsburgh 16 years ago.  "It's so old fashioned," the 55-year-old says, "When my husband and I first came here we wondered what it meant.  Were there supposed to be banks all over the place?  We only saw a few...and the 'Outer' always made me think of a big, gross outie belly button."  The new name, Dawn states, is "easier to say, less confusing, and more extreme".  Next year, she hopes to convince residents to demolish the outdated, unnattractive Wright Brothers Memorial and put a Target Superstore in its place.

Even with its old name, OBX never needed help luring tourists, but a slight dip (-.013%) in combined hotel, restuarant, kite, and t-shirt revenues from the 2008 summer season frightened those that relax there all year long.  Becky Weinstein, of Hatteras (since moving from Trenton, NJ a few years ago), says "It's 2009 - not colonial times anymore.  The new name makes it clear that we're a world-class destination for surfing, sport fishing, hang gliding, as well as just lounging around getting drunk and tan on the beach - plus, it fits perfectly on a sticker."

The oval "OBX" sticker itself is proving to be OBX's chief export these days.  Last year, 63 million stickers were sold to locals and tourists wanting everyone behind them on the highway to know they purchased a sticker in OBX and stuck it firmly on their vehicle.  Proceeds from sticker sales go to various OBX causes such as "Put Advertisements on Cape Hatteras Lighthouse",  "We Need a Boardwalk", and "Kate Gosselin Should Play Queen Elizabeth I in 'The Lost Colony' Next Year".

Tidewater Log located the only OBX resident opposed to the name change crabbing from the dock in his backyard on Colington Island.  Darryl Moody Midgett Baum III, 72, risks a fine of up to $150 if he's overheard using the old name.  "To hell with 'em.  I'll still call it the Outer Banks...and I ain't buying one of those dumb stickers," he says, slowly pulling up a crab nibbling on a piece of soggy string tied chicken neck.  "People can call it whatever they want.  I don't give a damn.  It's all gonna be underwater in a few years anyway."