Missed Opportunities

A few days ago, on Christmas Eve Eve (yes, that’s a thing and I’ve celebrated it for years by opening a special bottle of wine), I was on the hunt for that last elusive gift. Ken is an avid photographer, and I wanted to get him something camera-y, but I have no idea what kind of cameras he has (Nikon, Canon, Sony, Polaroid?) so I went to this strip mall in the next town to a little camera store that I found by googling “Camera stores near me”. A few days previous, I had phoned one of the larger chains, and when I told the man on the phone that my husband liked photography and that I was looking for something fun to get him for Christmas, he said, in a kind of weird way and with a heavy English accent, “Oh, ahem, I really couldn’t tell you…I would really have no idea…I’m probably the wrong person to ask.” Wrong person to ask?! You work in a goddamn camera store! But looking back on the incident later, it occurs to me that maybe he thought the conversation was more porn-based than it was in reality, which says much more about him than it does about me (or does it?). So when I went to the small camera shop on Wednesday, I was sure to preface my request with “My husband takes a lot of pictures of trees” and I refrained from adding, “Wink, wink, nudge, nudge”.

Seriously, here is one of Ken’s photographs of a tree. He’s very talented.

Anyway, I came away from the camera store with a gift card, assured by the owner that Ken could buy whatever he liked, which suited me fine. But as I was leaving, I noticed another business in the plaza, a hair salon. It was called The Main Attraction Hair Studio. And all I could think is, ‘There’s a missed opportunity if ever I saw one’. Like, who was the genius who said, “I know that the word ‘Mane’ is another word for long, luxurious hair, but if we call it “The Mane Attraction”, nobody is going to get THAT”? It’s like having the last name Taylor and being a seamstress, but calling your business ‘Tailor-Made’. I mean, why would you NOT capitalize on the obvious?!

And while I was taking a break from writing so I could think of more examples, I asked Kate for help:

Me: What are some other fun plays on words that people could use for their businesses?
Kate: Um…Sofa King.
Me: I don’t get it…
Kate: Because their sofas are so f*cking comfortable.
Me: (laughs hysterically)

And I remember when I was a kid, being absolutely fascinated by the Dew Drop Inn, a motel in the cottage town we used to visit. I don’t think I would have been quite as impressed if the name had been the Do Drop Inn, although that’s kind of cute too. Of course, if I owned a motel, it would be called the Come Inn…and it’s no wonder that people think I’m talking about sex stuff all the time. At any rate, I started thinking of some other fun names for businesses and I designed a quiz just for you. You have to match the names with the businesses. And just to up the ante, all the names I made up kind of sound like porn shops, so you have to guess which one is actually a porn shop. Also, one of them is an real business name that I found online, so you have to figure that out too. Answers are below the picture of an ad I found that is, apparently, someone else’s idea of a quiz, only theirs costs much more than mine:

1) Let’s Get Fizz-ical
2) We’re Going To Pump You Up
3) One Man’s Junk
4) The Hole Shebang
5) Can You Dig It
6) He Shoots, He Scores
7) Quality Tools
8) We Suck
9) Big Ass Slabs
10) Pour Some Sugar On Me

a) Excavating Company
b) Sporting Goods
c) Donut Store
d) Confectioners
e) Chainsaw Milling and Timberwork – this is a real company, I sh*t you not
f) Tire Repair
g) Vacuum Repair Service
h) Adult Novelties i.e. porn
i) Soda Shop
j) Thrift Store

Answers: 1i, 2f, 3j, 4c, 5a, 6b, 7h, 8g, 9e, 10d

How’d you do? As for What? I don’t know. All the pictures are exactly the same and the description just says ‘Working condition’. I really think there was a missed opportunity there.


51 thoughts on “Missed Opportunities

  1. One of my old chatroom friends always liked to joke that she was Sofa King old… and I felt like a doofus for being the only one who had to have it explained to me. If Ken really likes taking pictures of trees, he’d fit right in with me at the park when I go squirrel photo hunting. I had a park worker laugh at me once because she was thought I was obsessed with taking pictures of trees. She was sofa king annoying…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ha! That’s awesome, and there is a Main Attraction hair place here in El Paso too. But now I’ll think of you when I pass by it, lol. We also have a place called The Hoppy Monk, it’s a micro brewery. And a Leaning Tower Of Pizza, but that’s in Las Cruces, New Mexico about 60 miles from here. But I love those kinds of business names, it’s ironic and yet funny. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that you and your family are doing well and staying safe.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hoppy Monk is very clever, and I think we have a Leaning Tower of Pizza somewhere around here too–I love when businesses come up with snappy names! Happy New Year to you–hope you are all well and safe too!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Back in my early 20s, I worked for 411 (phone directory) and spent 40 hours a week providing people with telephone numbers. We had access to all of Canada’s database, and I’ve come accross my fair share of odd and ”creative” business names. When things were quiet, we made contests, competing for the weirdest names we could find. My all time favorite is a private number, for a man that lived in the Toronto area back then. He was listed as Ben Dover. I still wonder if his parents had a very kinky sense of humor, if they were really mean, or totally oblivious! Hahahaha

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Gift cards are very popular here, and I love them myself, esp when you have no idea what to buy.

    He IS talented btw and I bet if you showed the guy that pic he’d see sth sexy in it. A lone tree in the middle of nowhere, standing erect kind of allusion.

    But that’s just tells a lot about him, or is it me?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. That’s brilliant. I got them all except the chainsaw/timber bods cos SLABS are clearly made of stone or concrete, not wood. What were they thinking? Should have been “Big Ass Joists”. Except maybe people would mis-read it as “joints” and cause much confusion and hilarity. Hmm, there’s a shit sit-com in this.
    Best business names I’ve personally come across that are brilliant accidental puns are:
    – Wright Hassall (a legal firm in Warwickshire – https://www.wrighthassall.co.uk/about-us )
    – R Boddy – (an undertakers in Hull – drove past their sign & did a double-take).

    Liked by 2 people

  6. There is a local company called ‘R Sleep Tool Hire’, which isn’t particularly funny or appropriate. However, I often think when I see the shop, or see their vans around plastered with the name “I bet we’d soon know what the R stood for if his surname was Sole…”

    Liked by 2 people

  7. The Secret of ‘nyms. Sometimes I get ’em, sometimes my stoic demeanor just takes all the pun out. The tiny burst of dopamine one gets from unraveling a pun, however, can be addicting. Like the NPR show “Wait, wait, don’t tell me.” Which I hated, as eventually I’d have to say, OK, tell me already.
    A break from writing? OK, break’s over.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I knew Big Ass Slabs was the real one! That is a great photo, but do me a favor and tell Ken that I made the following comment about it: “The Larch. The…Larch. And now…number one — The Larch.” If he understands what this means, then he’s not just a great photographer, but a man of impeccable tastes.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Alas, I scored only 40% on the quiz, but in my defence, when I saw “The Whole Shebang” I started thinking about donuts and if I could stop by a donut store this morning and what flavour I would choose…

    Ken’s tree photo is stunning. It looks almost painterly.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. When our kids were small, they and the kids from another family we hung with celebrated The Night Before The Night Before Christmas sleepover party, so it’s a thing. But no booze for the littles. Thank you for the abundant chuckles your post stirred in me. Happy New Year from another word nerd whose mind is always a little bit in the gutter too!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. The Dew Drop Inn used to be a complete mystery to me when I arrived in North America. In Britain, ‘do’ is pronounced as it is here, but ‘dew’ is pronounced to rhyme with you. I had no idea why that should be the name of an inn. And I’m usually pretty good at puns…

    Liked by 2 people

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