Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What's in a name?

I've had mighty tasty meals in joints with names like...Donut Diner, Forks, Eats, Punk's Place, Terminal cafe, Chat'n Chew and Hoar House.

And not so tasty meals in tight-lip, tablecloth joints with names like Le Bon Repas, Paradise, Bon Appetit, Legends, Primo's, Parthenon and House of Good Food.

So what's in a name? Does a nifty monker guarantee success or insure flopdom?
Would Cary Grant have made it big as Archibald Leach? Roy Rogers as Leonard Slye? Muddy Waters as McKinley Morgenfield? Would you wear a shirt logo'd with Lifshitz on the front? That was Ralphee Lauren's real name. How much 7-Up would 've sold with it's original name, Lithiated Lemon? Trader Vic's useta be called Hinky Dinks. Nobody could give a piece of Pantagonian toothfish away until they marketed it as Chilean sea bass. Rose' was dead as nehru suits til they called it blush. Orange roughy useta be called slime head. How many hifultin customers would could actually fork a mouthful of pig thymus glands into their mouth if some clever chef hadn't named them sweetbreads?
Clint Eastwood opened a packed place in snooty Carmel called Hog's Breath Saloon, but that's Clint Eastwood. He could open a fancy steak joint called Hoof hearted and make a go of it.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Miserable People

I once asked my old man why a certain customer was being so mean.
He smiled, patted me on the head. "Son, there's two kinds of people in the world, happy people and miserable people. Happy people are always happy no matter what, miserable people are always miserable. And their mission in life is to make you miserable. Run from those people. matter how hard you try you can't make miserable people happy."

Then he smiled and grabbed my arm, pulled me close. "But we need miserable people."
"Why do we need miserable people," I asked.
"Cause miserable people make the rest of us look good."