Friend Robyn and I talk often of launching a business. The nature of that business: to assist people in avoiding looking stupid by substituting our common sense, and mad proofreading skills, for their own (or lack thereof). For example, you could have us look over your new logo ideas for your business, and we would point out how the one in the middle looks exactly like a penis. Or a new Italian restaurant might hire us to proofread their menu copy before it goes to the printer AND to the laminator, thus saving them the expense - and embarrassment - of having to reprint and laminate a bazillion menus on account of how they spelled "Caesar" as "Ceasar."
If I had a nickel for every time I have seen "Ceasar" on a menu . . . I would have a truckload of nickels. Seriously, it's my pet peeve when businesses misspell their bread-and-butter words. A sentimental favorite: the business that we used to pass when we drove through East Texas en route to my grandparents' house. "CARPET REMNETS," the sign said. Really? That's all you do? Sell remnants? Well, you would think that you would at least learn to spell that one word. ON ACCOUNT OF HOW IT IS YOUR ENTIRE BUSINESS. My entire adolescence, I desperately wanted my dad to pull over at Whathisname's House of Carpet Remnets so that I could tell them about the fatal flaw in their signage.
My favorite menu typo is of more recent vintage: "tarter sauce." The proprietor of the restaurant is a friend of mine, and I couldn't resist asking: did you change your tartar sauce recipe, so that it is tarter than before? Or are you simply pointing out that it is intrinsically tarter than other types of sauces? He didn't answer me. Instead, he did a facepalm and moaned, "But I had two different people proofread the menu before it went to the printer."
Ohhhhkay, but those two people were not Friend Robyn and me. Evidently, they weren't even literate. You really should have hired The Other Half.
That's what we are calling our side business: The Other Half. Because when you half-a** something, we provide the other half of your a**.
Robyn, if you are reading this, I have identified a potential customer for us. I pulled up the Web site of a "paint your own canvas" place that just opened (to compete with the twelve thousand OTHER "paint your own canvas" places that just opened; did would-be small business owner/operators get tired of trying to revive the yogurt shop craze or something?). I was both horrified and delighted to find the following:
We also specialize in kids parties, birthdays, graduations and teen parties. They will go home with the best party favor ever, there very own Masterpiece.
Hmm. "There" in lieu of the possessive "their," plus weird capitalization. Perhaps they are of Germanic origin. Germans capitalize all nouns. And, I am told, worship David Hasselhoff. Whose name would be capitalized by Germans even if it was not a proper name. And even if he was not worshipped as a God ("God" being capitalized . . . oh, forget it).
Enough about Germans, their odd grammar rules and their fascination with truly awful pop music. Let's read on:
Corporate Events: What a great way to entertain the wives. We are experts at team building with our painting parties. Your employees will thank you time and time again for such a fun and personnel painting party at [NAMEOFARTPARTYBUSINESS].
WHAT A GREAT WAY TO ENTERTAIN THE WIVES????? Exsqueeze me? A baking powder? My feminist tendencies are marginal at best, and that actually offended me. This is not Stepford, [NAMEOFARTPARTYBUSINESS]. It's Fort Worth, Texas. Okay, so stipulated and agreed that The Fort has some pronounced Stepford tendencies (e.g., we are all required to use the same type of city-requisitioned trash and recycling carts, and all school children - public and private - wear uniforms, and the uniforms are the same colors as the trash and recycling carts), but - last I checked, and that was this morning WHEN I REPORTED TO MY OFFICE - WOMEN ACTUALLY ARE PERMITTED, AND EVEN ENCOURAGED, TO WORK FOR CORPORATIONS HERE. And, also, for limited liability companies, partnerships (both general and limited), sole proprietorships, etc., etc. You get the idea.
But I can't stay mad at you, [NAMEOFARTPARTYBUSINESS], on account of the awesome typo, "fun and personnel painting party." You meant personal, right? Except that you are talking about a corporate team-building event. WHICH MEANS THAT "FUN AND PERSONNEL" IS FREAKIN' HILARIOUS!
Finally, I could not help but chuckle at the line:
Tell us a little bit about your desires in an e-mail (date, time, number of guest etc.) and we will call you to get the party started.
Um, "tell us about your desires" in close proximity to "get the party started" - well, it's sort of evocative of those late-night television commercials for adults-only chat rooms. Suddenly, I am flashing to that weird orgy scene in "Eyes Wide Shut," except instead of having graphic sex the scary people in the scary masks are painting, AND THEY ARE ALL PAINTING THE SAME DESIGN. And it's a corporate logo, and the logo looks like a penis, BECAUSE SOMEONE FORGOT TO ENGAGE THE SERVICES OF THE OTHER HALF. But it doesn't matter in the end, because the wives are entertained, and many of them are overheard describing the event as both "fun and personnel," and then one of them suggests that they go out for post-paint-orgy Ceasar salads.
At the new Italian restaurant. Near the carpet remnet place.