What's In A Name?

Saturday, September 08, 2007

One of the benefits of living in Adams Farm is the Harris Teeter shopping center. It has a grocery store and a number of small, strip-mall businesses as well. When we first moved to North Carolina I had never heard of the Harris Teeter and did not know what it was. When people learned we were moving into the area, they would always say, "That's a great area, you've got the Harris Teeter right there!" At first, the name Harris Teeter really annoyed me because I thought people were trying to say "theater" and pronouncing it "teeter" due to their strong southern accents. I just couldn't imagine my kids growing up in Greensboro and telling me one day, "Dad, I'm off to the movie teeter with Beckie Lou." It wasn't until we had lived here for a few days and I saw the Harris Teeter for the first time and realized that North Carolinians can indeed correctly pronounce the word "theater".

While I have come to accept the name Harris Teeter, there are several other businesses in the area that I still have issues with. I fully detail my umbrage below. This week's challenge is for you to think up an alternative name for any one of the businesses listed below. I'll score each submission on the Coolness vs. Lameness of the name as well as how much more likely I would be to enter the premises based solely upon the name. No matter how inexperienced you may be with naming a business, you will probably do better than:

Nothing inspires confidence like a "3 Star" rating. In most cases, stars are awarded on a 1-5 scale with "1" being significantly below expectations and "5" as greatly exceeds expectations. I guess the owners of this daycare are just being honest. They want parents to know that this daycare will simply meet expectations. When it's all said and done, your child will not leave here any smarter than when she arrived, but at least you will never be called to leave work to pick up your kid because the Health Department shut us down. That's right, we are the 3 Star Center - providing average childcare in the Piedmont Triad since 2007.

We were the $2.62 Cleaners last year, but hey, inflation happens. Beginning January 1, 2008, please make checks payable to the $2.94 Cleaners. Thank you.

I think that 99% of the Leon's in the world are current or former professional athletes. One of the backup running backs on my fantasy football team last year was Leon Washington. One of the best Super Bowl commercials of 2004 featured an incredibly egotistical professional wide receiver who went by one name - Leon. And who can forget former heavyweight champion Leon Spinks? Every time I see Leon's Salon, I get a visual image on Leon Spinks shampooing and then cutting my hair while regaling me with boxing stories as his long-term memory fades in and out. Needless to say, I've never been through the doors.

Okay, I know Tuesday Morning is a national chain and has managed to succeed despite its quirky name. Of all the days of the week, why choose Tuesday? Tuesday is the most inconspicuous, boring day of the week. Everybody hates Monday (until football season kicks off, of course), Wednesday is hump day, Thursday has all of the good TV shows, Friday starts the weekend, and Saturday + Sunday = no work. Tuesday has no claim to fame other than not being Monday, which every other day of the week can claim as well. Tuesday is just lame. The name Tuesday Morning stirs no emotion in me whatsoever. If they had named it Friday 3:45, I would immediately think, "Cool, just an hour and fifteen minutes until the weekend!". If it were called Sleep-in Saturday or You Should Be At Church Sunday, I would definitely shop there.

Let's play the word association game. When you saw the name Auto Bell, how many of you subconsciously thought "Taco Bell" the instant you read it? Most of you are probably beginning to salivate as you think of eating a chalupa or big beef nacho right this very moment. Every time I see Auto Bell, I think of making a run for the border. Justified or not, I just imagine these guys cleaning my car with the same amount of care and detail as the guy who folds my burrito at Taco Bell. You know, the guy who deliberately folds the bottom so that half of your beans and cheese plop down on to your wrapper after your fourth bite? You then have to spend the rest of your meal twisting your burrito like a rubix cube or else you will completely cover your forearm with the gooey mess. Why associate the name of your car wash franchise with the lowest quality fast food chain in the world? I guess McCarwashers was already taken.

If any of your aunts, uncles, parents, siblings, friends, or former business associates named any of the businesses that I mentioned, please, please forgive me and pretend you never saw this. For the rest of you, please submit some viable names for a daycare center, dry cleaner, salon, discount retailer, and car wash. (By the way, whoever submitted the Doyle Butz comment from the last post gets an immediate 10% added to his or her score because I accidentally snubbed you. My bad. Just tell me who it was - and be honest!)


Michael said...

Doyle Butz was me... and I'll probably need that 10% bump.

I'll have to get back to you on the name once I've had a little more sleep than I did last night and my creative juices are not completely dormant.

Oh, and I'll be sure not to mention to my Uncle Leon that you think he is a has-been boxer with no teeth who only had a .565 winning percentage in his career. Or my beloved Aunt Bertha Teeter, who partnered with Mr. Willie Harris of Hickory to form the highly successful grocery chain we all know and love today.

9:20 AM
andrea said...

Whatever, Michael. I was Doyle Butz. Don't you remember, honey? That's the alias I'm going to use when I check into the Airport Hilton if/when I have to run from the law.

Now that we've cleared that up, on to my attempts.

A Child's World, Recommended by nine out of ten toddlers

1% Of Your Daily Income Cleaners
(This way they charge on a sliding scale and as incomes increase, so do their fees. Pretty clever, huh?)

Every Other Friday (This will make people think about payday and they'll want to come blow their entire check on great bargains for picture frames and kitchen utensils.)

1:03 PM
Mrs. Dennis J. Sweat said...

I was Doyle Butz. I read about it on Andrea's earlier blog and decided to use it too!
P.S. - Your post was hilarious and off-the-wall brainy and you could write for Saturday Night Live if you wanted. I, unfortunately, have no brain cells and cannot compete in any of your contests - but when I was your age I could have, so enjoy yourself because some day you'll be 55 and there will be microscopic breaks in your synapsis that will cause you to use all of your brainpower just to remember not to press the car remote on your keychain when you're trying to unlock your office door in the morning.

7:39 PM
Sandy said...

So what is the Harris Teeter? For some reason that name just sort of strikes me as borderline inappropriate, but I can't figure out why...

I need to get back to you on the names.

7:00 AM
Ang said...

Drew, I can't believe you didn't mention "Menards" from Minnesota. I remember how you thought that one was hilarious. We also have a daycare I drive by every once in a while called "Tender Touch" . . . and it creeps me out. Lawsuit, anyone? And while we're on the topic of names, I think the whole entire city of Herriman here in the SL Valley should change its name. There are so many people who live there now, and so many lovely homes, and it's actually quite a pretty place with mountain views and rolling hills. But "Herriman" . . . ugh. If they changed their name to something blandly pretty like "Hillside," I bet the property values would go up at least 5 percent. So I haven't answered any of your quetsions, though. I'll think about it and get back to you. Hilarious post, by the way.

2:56 PM
Carrie said...

I am not clever enough to come up with names on my own, but your post did remind me of a business name in Jacksonville.

There is a museum there that is specifically for children. They can go and play with exhibits and touch anything they want. The name of the museum is....."Hands-On Children Museum". I could never pass it without bursting into laughter.

Here is the link...handsonchildrensmuseumjax.com. Be sure to check out the fascinating "exhibit picture" section of the website. You will find a picture of several wheelchairs locked up to a chain-link fence.

Creepy anyone??

7:59 AM