ONALASKA, WIS — A month long investigation that was definitely not our editor taking much-needed time away has led to a discovery involving former pop sensation One Direction and the origin of their name.
The official story, until recently, was that superstar and guy who probably pissed off your uncle with that dress picture a while ago, Harry Styles, suggested the name because it “sounded good” and that there really was no more meaning other than that.
However, Wednesday, it came to light that the band’s name was based on a frustrating aspect of getting to the La Crosse area’s only Farm and Fleet location off of Highway 16 in Onalaska.
“The real story – which I had never mentioned – is that before I was ever a singer, I stayed with an American friend of mine for a time,” Styles said, cresting the top of a wave from the sea of swooning teenagers he rode in on. “It was nearly the holiday season, and we desperately needed to get a few toys, some off brand candy and a pair of camouflage overalls for wear in the dead of winter.”
His friend suggested Farm and Fleet, a store they both knew of and passed quite a few times, but had never really gone to. Therein was the issue.
“We drove, like anyone would, from my mate’s house downtown straight down the highway to the store’s location,” Styles added. “Well, imagine our surprise as we pull up to hang a louie into the car park and discover this can’t be done! We had to drive all the way down to the car park of the employee-owned grocer up the way, turn back down the highway and enter making a right. I remember thinking my god! You can only get here from one direction? Does everyone have to do this? That’s absolutely mad! I don’t know, I guess that experience stuck with me ever since.”
Further investigation discovered that the song titles Story of My Life, One Way or Another, They Don’t Know About Us, and Where Do Broken Hearts Go are also veiled references to occasions where Styles and his friend decided to go to Farm and Fleet, but again forgot that one has to flank the store entirely to get in if traveling from La Crosse.
Reporter Sam Shilts contributed to this article.