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Friday, July 31, 2009

A Good Nose for Business

One thing that's always sad about the annual long summer visit to my in-laws' place is going downtown in their Jersey Shore hamlet and seeing which of my favorite businesses has gone bust and given way to some ridiculous chi chi boutique I'd never patronize in a million years. Their town used to be a hip but somewhat rough-around-the-edges place, with punk rock teenagers loitering on Broadway, lots of funky little stores, and a higher-than-average number of head shops. But as the town has gentrified more and more over the last ten years, the funky elements have given way to high-rent ventures.The cool health food store went under a few years back, making way for a fancy dog grooming salon. The used book store turned into one of those clothing stores where you can get a pair of distressed jeans off the sale rack for a mere hundred bucks. The little hole-in-the-wall vegan restaurant gave way to a gourmet pet food boutique. (I shit you not. These rich Jersey Shore people take their pets very seriously.)

With the economy in a slump, the death of the downtown businesses has sped up. This summer I noticed a business that had apparently opened and closed since last time we were in town. A designer perfume and make-up discount store. Hm. That's strange. With all the perfume, cologne, and cosmetics that people on the Jersey Shore use, I'd think a place that sells the designer shit at a bargain price would be able to weather the current economic climate. But wait. The name.

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"What's That Smell?" Really? That's the name you chose for your discount designer perfume shop? Why not "What the Fuck is That Smell?" or "What Cavernous Mouth of Hell Opened Up and Released That Smell?"

Don't these people have any sort of ear for their own language? "What's that smell?" is not a phrasal synonym for "Mmm, what's that delicate fragrance wafting toward my grateful nose?" It means "What's that foul smell?" It means "What's wrong here?" It means...

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3 Comments:

Blogger Orange said...

Hah! Thanks for the hard-hitting business journalism, E.

6:10 AM  
Blogger Lucky Star said...

Oh my, that is FUNNY!
I mean, the writing was compelling and I'm with ya on the sadness of mom-and-pop shops going bust...but it is extra funny that someone put that little post-it not below their sign! That is precisely what the phrase, "What's that smell?" evokes. I sorta can't stop giggling.

And did I tell you that after reading many a post here about the rockin' awesomeness of Wilco, I finally got around to investigating? I (obviously) loved what I heard, so I am the proud owner of the newest Wilco album, Wilco (the album) and I find myself playing the first track loudly and repeatedly because it makes me feel so incredibly alive and young and able to rock!! I also very much enjoy the rest of the album, but I am deathly slow to digest albums so tracks 1 and 4 are the extent of my "well-known and loved" list. For now. :)

Happy Back-to-School-ing to you! I am enrolled in some classes through U of Maine so I shall continue to plod forward to join your ranks as Kick Ass English Teacher. :) I have a Native American Literature class and a Maine Authors English class (as well as a History of Civ) and I am verrrrrrrrrrry excited!!

3:51 PM  
Blogger E. said...

Cool! I am actually teaching a Native American lit class for the first time this semester, so we should talk! (And I'm glad you found Wilco - I like their new record immensely.)

(And Hi Orange!)

10:24 AM  

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