Tonight I am meeting a couple of friends at the so-so Chinese restaurant next to my favorite dive karaoke bar, both of which I recently mentioned. On what might seem like an unrelated note, I was just scanning the ever-lengthening list of categories on my blog. I am obsessed with categorizing, but now and then, I think I might be overdoing it – especially when a category sits for a long time with only one post in it. Sometimes I try to use those lonely categories as sparks to write other posts so there will be no singletons in the long run. As my eye skimmed the list, it lingered for a moment on ‘Las Vegas,’ and I think it’s because I’m going to the karaoke bar tonight. The thing is, I’ve never gone to a karaoke place in Las Vegas – so what is the connection? Mangled words.
My favorite karaoke bar is called ‘Mel-O-Dee.’ Yep, I know. Horrible, yet somehow completely appropriate for a dive karaoke bar in a strip mall.
My favorite place to gamble in Las Vegas is called ‘Slots-O-Fun.’ It, too, is a dive – just a dive casino instead of a karaoke bar, and to my opinion, it is also perfectly named. It’s awesome because it’s cheaper than the casinos in the big hotels (I won a few hundred dollars on a quarter roulette table one night), yet it’s still on the strip – next to Circus Circus and across the street from the Riviera, which is a horrible hotel that used to be nice in the day, according to my grandparents, who never stayed anywhere else in their many trips to Vegas for an annual gun show.
Thinking about the mangled words that make up the names of these places, I am reminded of one other particularly horrible advertisement. While I haven’t seen this ad in more than 17 years, every single mangled word still sticks in my brain. It was painted by someone not very skilled at painting, on the brick wall of a building I used to have to walk past to get home every night after work, in a small college town in Ohio – It was an ad for a pet store, and it read:
We got ’bout EVERYTHIN’
‘cept Cats ‘N Dogs!
I don’t remember if the name of the pet store was included in the semi-washed out wall painting, but I will never forget that horrid line because, unlike my acceptance of the mangled words for the aforementioned karaoke bar and casino, I just could not accept this ridiculous advertisement, yet I had to see it every single day. I’m not sure I fully trust my memory on this, but I think the ad even had a picture of a dog’s head and a cat’s head – which I personally think is as stupid as stupid gets.
Interestingly enough, one of the friends that accompanies me to Mel-O-Dee happens to have been my next-door neighbor from that college town in Ohio over 17 years ago, and I know that she, too, remembers the ridiculous pet store ad, because she hated it as much as I did – maybe more. In any case, I will ask her about the ad tonight to see if she remembers either the name of the store or the surrounding poorly painted images on the wall. I will, of course, share anything interesting that I learn.