Admiring the Ads

The Ragtag Daily Prompt was SLICK and I’m finally formulating a response to the prompt. Although there are many different ways to illustrate SLICK, it wasn’t until I was reading the telephone book this evening that an idea gelled.

No, I’m not so bored that I’ve taken to reading the phone book. We were looking for the name of a Garden Center that we visited about ten years ago, but it seems to have closed down. Then my gaze strayed to the next page and I noticed an advertisement for a business called “Ace of Carts.” As you can imagine, they sell golf carts and other small utility vehicles.

This piqued my curiosity so I did a little more finger-walking through the Yellow Pages and spotted some other business names using puns and/or alliterative ads. Depending on your sense of humor, you may call them SLICK, CUTE, or just TACKY.

Here are a few I found in the phone book:
“Reigning Cats and Dogs” pet grooming salon
“Waggin’ Wheels” mobile pet grooming
“Step Ahead Shoes”
“Crackmaster” glass repair specialists

And here are a few I’ve dreamed up, in case anyone’s interested in starting a new business:
“The Problem Shrinker” Counseling service
“I. Watchwell” Security devices
“Tall Street” Men’s business attire
“Pickled Pig Leather Goods”
“Julius Sneezer Allergy specialist” …or…
“Julius Tweezer” Unwanted hair removed quickly and painlessly.
“Over the Hill” Used Book Nook
“Nosh & Nibble Catering”

Have you seen any funny/slick/tacky business names or ads lately?

Assorted Viruses

Good morning to everyone reading this. I’m writing this at 6:30 am and the dawn hasn’t touched our eastern sky yet, but our days are getting longer and warmer. The predicted high for today is +4 C — quite tropical for Feb in SK.

This has brought on a bout of SPRING FEVER in man and beast. Our cats wanted to go outside early this morning and see what’s happening. Once the sun is up they’ll want to be outdoors for hours.

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is VIRAL, a word with several different connotations.

Spring Fever isn’t a virus but it affects a lot of people, for all that. There is much concern worldwide for the latest Corona-virus and the possible epidemic it may become. On the other hand, it may be just like other influenza strains that render a lot of people sick for a few days, but only those with extremely compromised immune systems will die from it.

There are the viruses that spread across the internet, fuzzing up our communications. Many users find their systems compromised or hacked into by some virus or other.

And there are posts that go viral. Do you wish you could write something brilliant that everyone wants to comment on and share with their own readers, their friends and relatives? Have you seen a post topic that went viral?

One time a blogger and his wife were having a baby and he posted about their process of choosing a name. Should they give their child a traditional name or go with something trendy? That post got hundreds, if not over a thousand, comments. Readers everywhere were either offering suggestions or writing about the unique to just-plain-wacky names they’d encountered.

Johnny Cash was right with his song, A Boy Named Sue. When you give a child a weird name, you raise a fighter. As I read that post I felt so sorry for children who have to live with some of those names, like Mainline, Heroin, Cocaine, Kleenex.

Some parents have taken a normal name or word, and given it a twist, like Orangejello and Lemonjello, pronounced O-RAHN-je-lo and ley-MAHN-je-lo, Male and Female pronounced MAH-lay and FAY-MAH-lay. It was mentioned that these names come from immigrant parents; their grasp of English is poor and in their own language the words sound quite pleasant. However, their child will have a lifetime of correcting every single person who ever sees their name and pronounces it the way it’s spelled.

Some parents decorate their child with a name, while other names originate in a parent’s personal statement to the world. Like the girl named Breathe — because the mother wanted her daughter to not rush through life, but remember to stop and take a deep breath. By the same logic, Think, Breakfast, Smelltheroses and Agoodnightsleep could pass — but please don’t! And please, no political statements like Impeachtrump.

I suspect these parents never had to live with going to school day after day and hearing classmates snicker about their name. Yes, we’re supposed to live in an enlightened, no-bullying society where everything’s accepted; in reality kids still mock what they see as “weird.” As Johnny Cash sang, “I tell ya, life ain’t easy for a boy named Sue!”

Anyway, it was a very interesting and enlightening post; you can see why it went viral. So many names; so many opinions.

By now the sun is up and I shall go and deal with the Spring Fever at our house.

All My Kin

Today’s Word of the Day prompt is the word KINDRED. Something everyone has, whether they know it or not.

I’ve written before about my adventures on Ancestry.com — and now I’ve built another family tree on MyHeritage.com, so I’ve got lots of information coming at me in regards to my forebears. Basically my Vance great-great-great-grandfather David had his origins in Gallowayshire, Scotland, and moved to Wigtownshire, married thirteen-year-old Agnes Jones and had a large family, mostly boys. He was killed at age 34 in a storm, after which several of his sons left that area hoping for a better life in Canada. They emigrated circa 1835.

David’s son, my great-great gr. Joseph, married Sarah Shannon and had one son, then she passed away. He brought his son John along when he came to Canada. En route to Oxford County he met another Sarah, the daughter of Samuel Russell and Sarah Jane (nee Powers) Allen of upstate New York. Joseph and Sarah were married and their first son — and possibly their daughter as well — appear to have been born in Quebec. The two offspring, true to form, were named Joseph and Sarah Jane.

This tendency to name the oldest children after their parents sometimes helps matters and sometimes confuses the issue. My great-great grandparents named their children after all of Joseph’s brothers, plus Samuel after Samuel Allen, I’m supposing, and the youngest one was William, some other kinsman’s name.

Joseph’s oldest son Joseph name his two oldest children Joseph and Sarah Jane; so did Great-uncle George and James, if I have it right. To add to the confusion of all the same-name cousins, I also discovered that three of my great-grandfather’s brothers married Margarets. Wouldn’t that have given some interesting family gatherings?

Samuel, my great grandfather, was the second youngest of Joseph and Sarah’s six sons, born after they were settled and farming in Oxford County, Ontario. Most of the kindred settled in the Tavistock area and from there have spread out in every direction. Great-grandpa Sam and his brother James came west; at least two of his brothers went to Michigan when land was opening up there; some moved farther north in Ontario, to Huron and Lambton Counties.

Great-grandfather never had a girl to name after his mother, but he named his oldest son Allen, so that family was represented. Maybe he figured there were already enough Josephs in the clan, as his second son was William James after his two brothers.

Grandfather Allen Vance kept up the tradition: his older sons were Samuel Charles, William Steven, and Joseph Daniel. My father, the youngest, was Wilfred Allen, but his dad died when he was a boy and he started calling himself Allen Wilfred. My brother is James Allen. Looks like that’s where the tradition will end.

And that’s enough — probably a lot more than you wanted to know — about my kindred.

The Fire That Changed Her Name

One evening in Hull, England, Maud and her mum decided to go to the “flicks” (silent movies) — and see Norma Talmadge in Camille. Maud says that wonderful actress “could really turn on their waterworks.” While they were sobbing trough tear-jerking scenes at the theatre, another “scene” was rolling at their home, one that would change their lives forever.

The house had been shut up and some washing, set in front of the fireplace to dry, caught on fire. At least this was the conclusion they came to. The fire smouldered until Maud’s  father had come home from his club and opened the front door. Fresh oxygen fed the blaze and hot flames flashed out at him. It was too late to save anything; the interior of the house was an inferno.

After the movie, as Maud and her mother got closer to their street, they saw “a huge orange cloud lighting up the sky.” They began to run and soon realized the awful truth: their house was the one burning! Several red fire engines raced by them and stopped in front of their house. Firemen piled out and dragged hoses along, pumping water from a tank on one of the trucks.

Panicked, Maud and her mom ran toward their home. A crowd had already gathered. Maud was determined to rush in and save some of their belongings but one of the firemen caught her as she reached the door and put paid to that idea. So she stood outside with the others and watched the house burn, feeling herself the heroine of a great drama. She hated to lose their piano but wasn’t sad about all the old trinkets and whatnot her mum had collected over the years.

After the fire her mother decided to stay with her maternal grandparents, the Waites, who lived nearby, until the house could be restored. Maud could have joined them but some of her school friends were offering her a place to stay and that had a lot more appeal. Maud found being an only child rather boring, and had no qualms about accepting when best friend Phyllis Holmes invited her to come live with them awhile.

Here was a family where there would always be some action going on! Phyllis’ older sister, Cathy, was engaged to be married. She also had three brothers: Ted, the oldest, was an organ builder in Scotland; Harry was a cowboy on a ranch in somewhere out in the wilds of western Canada; Noel, still living at home, was an office worker. Phyllis, three years older than Maud, was an incurable romantic and a tease. She’d often say, “Just wait till Harry sees you. I’m sure he’ll fall for you!”

Phyllis did Maud a great favour while she was living at their home. Maud had always hated her name, especially when pronounced with a broad Yorkshire “u” — and even more when folks called her Maudie. Yuck! One evening she and Phyllis went to the theatre to see Peg O’ My Heart. Afterward Phyllis said, “She’s just like you! From now on you’re not Maud, you’re Peggy, and I’m never going to call you anything else.”

Maud — now Peggy — was delighted. She had some qualms about telling her parents, though, and her name change did indeed bring on a major row when she informed them, but they finally gave in and she was Peggy ever after. Some years later when she moved to Alberta with her husband, she was so thankful Phyllis had dubbed her Peggy, since it seemed every mule in Canada was called Maud. 🙂

You see, when Phyllis’ brother Harry came home from western Canada on a visit, he changed Peggy’s last name to Holmes and took her off to the bush country north of Edmonton, Alberta, to live on his homestead. 🙂

That proved to be a very useful fire indeed.

Word Press daily prompt: qualms