COLOMBO, WIS — Amid nationwide calls to remove statues of Confederate leaders and other controversial figures, a small town in central Wisconsin decided this past week to have a statue of Christopher Columbus removed from a prominent location. But the removal of this statue is far more complicated as the town it resides in is also named Columbus.
“It would be silly to remove the statue while keeping the town name Columbus, but changing the town name had severe financial implications,” commented town mayor Nina P. Santamaria, “so we found an affordable solution.”
The city council for the town of 5000 residents then decided to change the name to “Colombo” in honor of the shrewd, blue-collar TV homicide detective played by Peter Falk from 1968 to 2003.
Santamaria pointed out how the change is more fiscally feasible as a couple letters can be painted over instead of replacing all signs in town. But the price tag was only part of the reason the town made the change.
“Being a small mid-western town, we all identify with Columbo’s disheveled looks, unassuming demeanor, and shambling manner with an off-putting, relentless approach to problem-solving,” Santamaria explained. “It’s also funny how we never get to see his wife.”
Santamaria also relates to how Columbo’s seemingly inept and broken thinking connects to simple midwestern town life, while mocking criminal members of affluent high society who try, and always fail, to carefully cover their tracks.
“That’s how we do things in Colombo,” Santamaria added, “We may look stupid to you, big cities, but it is all a ruse.”
Oh and there’s just one more thing: the statue issue.
Luckily for the town, they were able to make a few simple modifications to transform the flag-wielding Columbus into the cigar-toting Columbo.
Reporter Dr. Jonathan H. Dong contributed to this article.