Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Out driving around last weekend I saw a very large sign by the road that looked pretty much like this:

By large we're talking billboard size. I loved it for a couple of reasons. It gave you no clue about the business (store? restaurant?) except that it was owned by Al, and it got the apostrophe right. It was very legible. A good sign that said almost nothing.

So I started thinking about signs I'd seen that weren't as good as AL'S. I decided that if I were to be forced to open one of those fake stores in a place like Williamsburg or Epcot Center, I would name it:

Then I challenged myself to come up with a business name that would be so repellant that I would refuse to shop there. Not repellant due to political concerns, or the nature of the business, but from being the polar opposite of AL's sign. So here it is:

It gets the apostrophes wrong. The backwards "N" is in quotes, just like the annoying backwards "R" in Toys "R" Us. It doesn't tell you what you can buy there, but you know the place has a very sickly sweet smell that makes you wonder how the sales staff tolerate it for any length of time. It uses multiple fonts, and is hard to read. It has cute fake olde spelling.

Though, I have to admit, one of my favorite store names was one of the models for this. If you drive through Blawnox PA you will find "Pianos N' Stuff". I've always loved that name. I've never been in the store, but I'm always intrigued by the vagueness of the "stuff" combined with the much more specific "pianos". If it were my store, there would be mostly pianos, with a few mops, lightbulbs, and bags of dog food scattered about, and maybe one of those rotating hot dog grills or a cotton candy machine. Y'know, stuff.

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