Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Frogs Are On Their Own

I was so tickled when I was in the paint store and came upon a big display of Frog Tape! I was all set to stock up, just so I could have some on hand in case I should run into a frog that was coming undone. But upon closer inspection, it turned out that it was just a standard painter's masking tape, and of no particular use for amphibian repair.

The trouble is, you don't always know what you're getting with brand names.

If you've been to a major construction site, you may have noticed a huge machine called, generically, a concrete pump. This is an enormous tube which starts out small, unfolds itself to a great length, swings around and spurts out thick white material. First time I saw one in action, it reminded me of something else, somehow, but nothing I could put my finger on. Until I saw the brand name painted on the side: Putzmeister. Putzmeister? Oh yeah.

I thought this was kind of funny and mentioned it to Dave. He's worked at lots of construction sites, and he said every concrete pump has a suggestive name. So I started noticing. Next one was Brundage-Bone. The one after that: Pettibone. (Not surprisingly, that one is good for slabjacking, too.) Then: Schwing. Finally one day I came home to report a sighting of a concrete pump with an ordinary name.

Dave smirked. "You mean you've never heard it called a Johnson?" he said. Oh yeah.

So we're in the department store looking for a kitchen scale, and I searched high and low in the kitchen-goods aisle and couldn't find one anywhere. Dave strolled over and quickly pointed out three of them, in different sizes, all boxed up with the brand name Salter on them. "I thought those were just salters," I said.

"What is a salter?" Dave wanted to know.

I don't know. It sounded cuisine-y, though.

It can get confusing. In the Hair Care aisle alone, you can find bottles containing Wheat Germ Oil and Oat Fiber and Mango and Papaya, but none of it is meant to be taken internally. Just For Men doesn't go where you'd think it does, either. But some stuff is hard to resist. In the hardware store I discovered something called a Faucet Beanie, which, according to the sign, you can "push-on and wiggle-flush for a hassle-free friction fit, with no more hooks, bands, or straps!" I've been looking for that my whole life.

Even shopping for plumbing fixtures is fraught. There are all sorts of brands of toilets, from Kohler to American Standard to Universal Rundle. I'm guessing most Americans would go for the Standard, but I thought in our case we should buy a Universal Rundle. Because Dave and I don't have the same size rundles.

61 comments:

  1. Putzmeister sounds German to me. That thick white material they shoot out is probably manufactured by Siemens.

    The absolute worst company name ever has to be this.

    But if frog tape isn't meant for use on frogs, I guess duck tape isn't meant for gagging quacks, either. Darn, I'll have to find something else.

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    1. Siemens. Ar Ar Ar. I'm jizz tickled about that.

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    2. If you've got a problem with annoying Scotsmen, you can always resort to Scotch tape.

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    3. My personal favorite has always been the NUCLEAR duct tape. They really use this to repair leaks at nuclear plants. It's the gold standard, so to speak. You just can't buy any better.

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  2. Oh. My. I have just had an education that I didn't need, at my age. Happy Independence Day, Murr, and a big grin to both of you! :-)

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    1. You are right, Djan, at our age we don't need to know ANYthing else. My net knowledge is staying the same. Whatever comes in pushes something else out.

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  3. But sometimes, a Zamboni is just a Zamboni. And a penal colony isn't near as much fun as you might think.

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  4. The architect here always specs American Standard, even though we don't have the same sized rundles here either!

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    1. We actually got one toilet that's handicapped-size, a little taller than standard, because Dave wanted one where he didn't have to go into free-fall. And I can launch myself up there too.

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  5. I know it wasn't intentionally humorous, but I always chuckle when I pass the Seaman's Bank on the main "drag" of Provincetown.

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    1. We still fondly recall Howard Cosell's play-by-play when a running back of a certain name made a heroic dash for the end zone. "It's Seaman to the left! Seaman to the right! It's Seaman all over the field!"

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  6. There is a funeral home business in NYS called "Amigone." I suppose it's an Italian/some ethnic name and not pronounced the way it COULD be pronounced though.

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    1. Man, wouldn't you want to be more certain about it than that if you're about to be buried?

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  7. Have you eaten at Sam n Ella's Restaurant?
    Then there is the Stiff Nipples Air Conditioning Company. True story.

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    1. There is not. Go on.
      We had a Dr. Harry Dick here in Portland. Urologist.

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    2. Here in Toledo, we had a urologist named Dick Tapper.

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    3. One of my oncologists was called Dr. Barfi. Not only that, but it was her maiden name and she decided to keep it after she was married. Anyone who has been through Chemo knows that Barfi is right on!

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  8. Dang, I guess I had better pass on the Gorilla Snot glue.

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    1. Now there's a name that sticks with you.

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  9. Hotdamn Murr....you always make me laugh out loud!

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    1. I hope you have better bladder control than I do.

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  10. Have you heard that in carpentry, they have cookies? Can't eat those either. Men are responsible for all this misogynistic misnaming I'm sure.

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    1. Cookies you can't eat? See, that's just mean.

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  11. Nice beanies! And I'm glad I'm not the only one who snickers childishly at concrete pumps.

    But you might be interested to know that Hubby uses Bullfrog Snot for his model railway tracks. It's sticky and green, and it comes in a nice little glass pot. According to the label, it's "extracted from the suffering sinuses of free-range male frogs as fast as we can..." I guess it takes them a while to figure out which frogs are male. 'Cause it's hard to find a frog's Pettibone.

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    1. Yeah, but they can tape them down with that frog tape while they're checking.

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  12. Too funny. As teens (okay.. and still) we giggled about a large sign which could be seen from the highway in my native Montreal It was a company that sold printers and book binding equipment.. Multidick. I kid you not.

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  13. Well, you started my Fourth of July with a hearty laugh. Thank you for that. Have a safe and happy holiday.

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    1. I'll be under the sofa with a bellyful of dog tranquilizers.

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  14. "They" have been building a building just across the river from us. And put a lot of grey stuff through one of those hose contraptions. I didn't catch the name on the thing, or I would share it.

    Happy 4th of July from north of the border, eh.

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    1. The odd thing is, it all gets hard AFTER they're done with the hose.

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  15. I still get daily (sometimes hourly) delight from our "Class V rapids" toilet; apparently, our diets are admirably full of fiber, to the point that we needed to go Class V with the power of the water in our toilet. Sometimes, as I sit there, reading my magazine, I imagine I'm giving birth to a kayak.

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    1. Hourly? I've been known to launch a decent flotilla in my time, but you are a goddess. I know that toilet, though.

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  16. There's a company in Portland called "Refa Erections". I've seen their trucks; I believe they provide voting machines for voters in Japan.

    By the way Frog Tape really works... those slimy little buggers don't move an inch!

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    1. Roseanne Rosannadanna! Flea Erections!

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  17. A Universal Rundle is your best bet. If you get the wrong size Rundle, your heiney could get hopelessly stuck, requiring crowbars or even the jaws of life.

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    1. I really, reaaally hate the crowbars scenario.

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  18. Now I will never look at these items the same way again.

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    1. I never look at anything the same way again.

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  19. Me either... You guys are funn-ny. I still can't get the frog tape and duck tape pictures out of my head.

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    1. Be it known that Murrmurrs, Inc. does not condone any form of amphibian bondage. Opinions expressed are not always those of the management.

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    2. I thought only mammals could be expressed.

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  20. One of my grandson's grandfathers (on the other side not my side) is Dr. Colon. He's Puerto Rican and the accent is on the second syllable. But you can probably guess his medical specialty -- and you'd be right

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    1. I wonder how long it took for him to pass his boards.

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  21. And don't forget Heckler & Koch (yes, pronounced "Cock") firearms - "The ultimate penis substitute". Well, I think they said that. http://www.heckler-koch.com/en/products.html

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    1. Heckler and Cock? What's next, Smith and Whizzin'?

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  22. I had a friend named Fred whose uncle was Harry Bahls. In college there was a cute undergrad named Wanda Dick. We couldn't figure out what her parents were thinking. Then there's firemen and their hoses, NASA, etc.

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    1. Her parents, Isaac and Minnie, were damned if they were going to be the only ones suffering with that name.

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  23. People with the surname Dick really shouldn't have children. I didn't, and the worst anyone ever did with it was rhyme it with Rooster. Not Cock.

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  24. I am so very, very thankful for my ordinary name. Which doesn't show up here, but trust me, it is ordinary and totally non-suggestive and I have a new found respect for it.

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    1. You'd better spill it, darlin', because the rest of us are coming up with our own "O."

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    2. Oh, you're good :) That was worth five snickers AND a snort :)

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    3. What? I was thinking "O'Brien."

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  25. I had to stop reading the comments. I'm choking from laughing too hard.

    A local real estate agent is named Randy Mann.

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    1. He probably hasn't even noticed the down market.

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  26. East Haven, CT: Master Bait & Tackle.

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  27. I've always tried to figure out the significance of the name of this company that makes generators: Cummins Onan. There's got to be a dirty joke in there somewhere.

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