Wednesday, 25 June 2008

The Oldest Profession's Daytime Job.


A while ago, The Depp Effect issued a challenge - I shall call it the Mind the Bell Challenge. This challenge was to find something quirky in your neighbourhood, photograph it and post it on your blog. Now, I was not directly challenged and I was much relieved about that. You see, I live in Canada on the West Coast, where everything is new and if it is old, well, it needs to be knocked down so that something new can be put in its place. That really bugs me. I like old, quirky things with character and you just don't find that kind of thing out here. That is one of the things that I miss about England. Let's face it, if you walked into a pub anywhere around here and hit your head on a ridiculously low beam, well, you would sue someone. In England, if I walk into a pub and don't hit my head, well, I am obviously in a modern pub and I have to leave to go and find one with a bit more character. I love one of my local pubs back home where even short arses such as myself can hit their head on a beam. Don't worry, it does have nice cushiony padding.

So, I was relieved not to be challenged. I don't like challenges at the best of times - too much pressure and I don't like the possibility of failure. However, the other day we were driving around a rather industrial part of a neighbouring town looking for a recycling centre - oh yes, we are still in our green phase, when I saw this........




I have to admit that it gave me a good laugh. Mr. DBM just looked at me with a very stern face that clearly said "Grow up!" But, come on, this is funny. Admit it, you just laughed, didn't you? It made me think of another business name that always makes me chuckle - The Athlete's Foot. Now who in their right mind would chose to name their business after a fungal infection? At least with Happy Ho the owner has the excuse that English is not their first language and that they didn't realise that Ho in English actually means "A hooker or a hoochie, although sometimes more promiscuous than a hoochie, and therefore undesirable." i.e. the diminutive form of "whore". I suspect that the owner probably wonders why English speakers giggle like school girls when they hear or see the name - I am guessing that no-one has had the heart to tell the owner what his name actually means here, since I assume that it is his surname being used. But what excuse does the owner of The Athlete's Foot have? It is an American company, surely they have heard of, and probably even experienced, athletes foot, the fungal infection?

There must be many other examples of unfortunate business names out there, mostly due to the vagaries of the English language and inappropriate translations. Does anyone have any to share?

10 comments:

Jay said...

Oh, that's funny! LOL! I love it! I'm glad you decided to play, even if you weren't challenged. ;)

I've started a little collection of sign-writing faux pas, and when I have a few on hand I'm going to start posting them. Aberrant apostrophes welcome but not essential.

Coastal Aussie said...

It took me a minute to catch on because I'm use to it being spelt with an an 'e' (as in hoe), but that just made it a double surpise when everything clicked into place.

I do have one to show you! It's not as good as yours but it surprised me the first few times I saw it. I'll just nip into town and take a snap for you. (And I have found something to show Jay too)

Moon said...

there are hundreds of intentional puns in shop names, some clever, some just plain awful ....

I would call a pub the Bra and Panties, or, although have stolen the idea really, the Athletes Foot ....

Don't Bug Me! said...

J and CA: Excellent! Looking forward to seeing more.......

Moon: I think that you might lose approximately 50% of your clientele if you named your pub the Bra and Panties - just a hunch.

Moon said...

yeah, only the shandy drinking girlies ... couple of the finest naked ladies ... bob is your uncle...

What about a curry house call the Argie Bharji ?

Don't Bug Me! said...

Moon: OK, I admit it, Argie Bharji made me laugh.

English Mum said...

There's a teeny shop in Kells called:

Eat's and Treat's (sic)

Lynne Truss would have heart failure! Must get a pic x

Don't Bug Me! said...

EM: I had to go and google Lynne Truss - now I understand :o)

Trouble said...

Master bait and Tackle in Ft.Myers Fl is the only one that comes to mind, to be honest how could anyone forget seeing something like that. Makes you ask yourself are you serious!? :-)

Don't Bug Me! said...

Hello Trouble! Now, that makes me chuckle and it reminds me of an old English cartoon when I was growing up - Captain Pugwash. There was a Master Bates and a Seaman Stains in that ;o) Actually, I think that is just an urban legend, it was really Master Mate, but Master Bates is much funnier.