116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
This is not easy to admit, but here goes.
My name is Todd. And my family and I live in a “snout house.”
So there I am earlier this month, glancing over the newspaper, drinking coffee, when I glance at an article on local governments considering rules discouraging snout houses. I'm reading, and chuckling at that funny name. Then I'm reading some more, and I'm looking at the photo. And it dawns on me. I'm reading about snout houses while inside a snout house.
In case you're just tuning in, a snout house is a home with a prominent garage that sticks out in front like, apparently, a snout. Some urban planners worry that too many snouts create a “garage-dominated street-scape.” We simply can't have that. So they'd prefer that new homes be designed with less upfront garaginess. So far, local officials have not embraced any new snout house rules.
Still, I'd like to know who came up with the name.
Probably somebody lounging smugly in an exotic-sounding bungalow or a snooty Tudor booster or some judgmental maven ensconced in full two-story colonial. Maybe it came to somebody sittin' a spell out in front of their spacious ranch, playing a cowboy guitar and singing “Don't Garage Me In.”
Wouldn't “garage-forward villa” be better than snout house, just two letters away from outhouse? After all, if some people get to live in homes named in such a way that suggests a king or George Washington or The Duke might stop by, why should we have to live in a barbecue restaurant on the outskirts of Little Rock, Ark.? Welcome to the “Snout House,” y'all.
Now, I'm not suggesting that my home is a distinctive architectural marvel. I have indeed turned into the wrong driveway twice. Still, this injustice shall not stand. We who live our lives behind the snout deserve a little more respect.
And I fear if we let this sort of snout defamation go too far, the shunning and jokes can't be far behind. “Hey snout houser, you got some actual living space somewhere behind that huge garage?” Yeah, plenty. And who wants to know?
There must be some way we can promote unity and understanding between snouts and non-snouts, before it's too late.
Maybe we could organize a North Marion Snout House Festival, with a parade and pork barbecue and rubber snouts for the kids. The festival could commence with the ceremonial opening of the snouts, a synchronized raising of garage doors, with fireworks, or a drum corps, or both. Maybe some Iowa brewery could create a special Snout House Stout. We could sell “Snout Pride” T-shirts.
It's no time to pout, snouts. We're here, we're behind the garage, get used to it!