My pal Gordon Young and I talk on the phone now and then, sometimes to discuss journalism, sometimes to discuss the serious issues of the day—usually involving Flint. We’re both journalists who have written our share of stories about Flint, and so our conversations carry the kind of weight you’d expect from a couple of guys who spend their time researching and talking about the city.
For example, Gordie—a guy who wrote a book about Flint and its history—will often say, with great conviction: “I think it should be Flintoid.”
Okay, so maybe not all the conversations are that intellectual.
What he’s talking about is just what you should call yourself if you come from Flint. I’m not sure, but Gordie feels like he’s figured it all out.
I’m not sure.
He’s not the only one to support that route. I have a student who has even shortened the term down to “’toid.” When she stays at the house she rents in Flint, for example, she refers to it as her ’toid house.
Maybe it’s the best option, even if I’m not in love with it. There are other options, of course: Flintite (worse than Flintoid, although I’m not sure why), Flintonian (which, I think, just sucks), and of course the one we’re all probably more familiar with: Flintstone.
I asked Gordie if there was anything he wanted to share before I published this, anything he wanted to say in his defense of Flintoid.
“I’m not a fan of the more conventional choices,” he said. “Flintite sounds more like an unfortunate medical condition. I know about the basketball connection, but the original Flintstones lived in Bedrock, a place that somehow avoided the industrial revolution, the very economic trend that put Flint on the map. So I go with Flintoid. It sounds a little weird, but so is Flint, in a good way, and it emerged in a local song that parodied the Rolling Stones, a band that seems much more Flint than Fred and Wilma.”
(See? We discuss serious stuff.)
I actually like the word Flintstone, but I feel like there’s something about it that just carries more weight. Sort of a born-and-bred thing. When I moved into the city about ten years ago, did I automatically attain Flintstone status? Hell no. I’d expect to be stoned with coney dogs for suggesting any such thing. Flintoid? A guy who pays his taxes and gets his mail there? Sure. Flintoid might do. To attain Flintstone status, what would I have had to do? (Not move away, for one, but we’ll discuss that at a later date). I feel like there would have had to have been some sort of trials to graduate from mere Flintoid to Flintstone, like whatever it is you to go through in the Star Wars movies to become a Jedi. Swimming the length of the Flint River with a Torch Burger balanced on your head, perhaps. You tell me.
In fact, let me know what you think about all this. Flintoid? Flintite? Flintstone? Something else?
Post a comment and let us know what you think.
Scott Atkinson is a columnist for Flintside. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.