Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Pub Name Backpedal

Ray called today. As usual, all previous arrangements stood up, did a curious pirouette, and landed facing completely different directions. Rather than relay my thoughts on the various touch-points, I shall simply let the facts speak for themselves. Our call went more or less like this:

ME: [answering] Hello?

RAY: It's a thing, man. What I was thinkin' last night. It's a thing.

ME: Hello, Ray. What's a thing?

RAY: So we been openin' this pub, right, and construction's all done, and you got the decor all like you like it, with the big wood bar and old sports mallets and stuff on the wall, but there I was. On the can, dude. I tell you that because I want to be honest at every step of the way.

ME: The bar is physically complete, ready to open, and you had the audacity to sit on a toilet. Ray. Really now. Couldn't that have waited until the future?

RAY: It ain't that I was bein' bad. I mean, it struck me as I sat there, dude. It struck me. "I'm about to open a business called 'Sit Down, Fat Dog.'"

ME: Right. We both liked that name when last we spoke of it.

RAY: Yeah, but things...ideas mature over time, man. You get perspective. Sit Down, Fat Dog ain't a good name for a bar. It ain't a good name for anything, really. First of all, dogs are crass, and no one cares if they sit down. Second, plump animals don't sound edgy. A pub, even a classy friendly one, got to have a hint of edge.

ME: [sighs] So we're without a name again.

RAY: Not exactly. In fact, the opposite of that, then also better. Téodor talked to Roast Beef, man.

ME: Excuse me?

RAY: Turns out Roast Beef had suggested a name to you for the pub before? Anyhow, he and Téodor were talkin' about it, and Beef told him the name he thought of. Téodor really liked it, and came up with this whole design for the shingle, man. It is laden. It is a cuss with a Glock and a hoagie. This thing is ready for action. T even thought so much of the design before he showed me that he had a life-size board carved out and painted. Chills, man.

ME: If I recall, Roast Beef had suggested naming the place, "The Dude and Catastrophe." This was because his computer was more or less on fire at the time. He then hung up on me. I didn't consider it a serious contribution.

RAY: Either way, man, you got to see the thing in real life. Plus, the thing's in the original format, the one you liked, the "The-and-The" style.

ME: Well, I do admit to a deeply ingrained fondness for that style. "The Dude and Catastrophe," though. Seems a bit...Roast Beef. I'm not sure it's entirely my style. It's his diction and mentality from soup to nuts.

RAY: I have put over two hundred and fifty thousand dollars into this project. You picked out the carpet. This is a gentle reminder from Ray Smuckles, LLC, a Delaware Corporation.

ME: [pauses, collects self] I'm terribly sorry, Ray. I was caught up in myself. Please accept my apologies. You've been more than generous. I think it's a gamble, as a name, but life's nothing without a good gamble now and then, yes?

RAY: All I want's a place at the bar, Cornelius. Thanks for bein' the idea man behind this. I'm only too glad to fill in my part. You gonna always have a napkin and a chilled glass for me, right?

ME: And a pewter nametag for the purpose of reserving any tap in the place.

RAY: Daaamn, I like that. So, you got to see this sign. Come on over, chochichuelo. Thing's in my garage. Also I mixed up these things called Dutch Crumbles, I just baked them in the oven. I'm not sure if they're right or not. I didn't have a recipe. I don't even know what they are, actually. I'm callin' them that until enough people can eat them that someone can identify them. Maybe you know what they are.

ME: Perhaps they'll be our signature bar snack!

RAY: Daaamn, dude. You ain't even got to. But thanks.

ME: See you in an hour. I've got the old tootsies in a sitz bath at the moment.

RAY: Old age, man. Cool. See you in a few.

All that said, I'm typing up our chat while the timer runs out, and I'm quite guarded about this design of Téodor's. He's talented enough in his own right, but so young I can scarcely believe he has the collected wherewithal to execute a good pub shingle in the traditional style. Perhaps an extra finger in the Riedel before I trod over, to enhance my generally magnanimous nature.