Yes, but why would you call it that?…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s ancient Egyptian deity is the god (appearing in the image of a man holding a solar barque above his head, or frog headed, or a baboon) Nun. His cult centres are Heliopolis and Hermopolis Magna. His association is that of primordial waters. (Nun)
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A while ago I decided to watch out for, and make a list of, local businesses and cafes that have names odd enough to be worth writing something about. But after a week or two of keeping my eyes peeled (what a horrible expression that is!) I ended up with only three on my list. Still, it would be a pity to waste all that effort, so let me share a few thoughts on them with you dear reader:
1) On the main road heading north out of the centre of town there is a place called ‘Al Pacino’s Pizza Takeaway‘ – it has a couple of black and white photos of a very young-looking Al Pacino painted on the name board over the front window. When I spotted it, my first thought was, I wonder if they phoned Al up and asked him if it was alright for them to use his name and face on the front of their pizza joint? After I wondered that for a moment I came to the conclusion that they probably hadn’t bothered. It is a bit of a cheek though, don’t you think?
Mind you, I could have got this all wrong. Maybe if you popped in to order a nice quattro formaggio with a few anchovies, there he would be – Al himself, standing in a dusty apron behind the counter, ready to serve you, his career recently having taken a down turn, looking considerably older than his pictures outside – ah, but still with that familiar care-worn scowling miserable unsmiling face of his…
Isn’t it odd that lots of pizza restaurants go for the mafia theme? Perhaps they think it’s cool to be seen supporting or somehow in league with that horrible vicious organisation? You don’t really see many Third Reich themed German sausage restaurants do you?…
2) In the town centre there is a brightly painted, but very narrow shop that sells takeaway sugary drinks and hot snacks and similar such things for busy shoppers during the day, and for drinkers who get a bit peckish in between the pubs on their crawl, in the evenings. Written in bright jumping colours on a big sign on the wall above the door are the words Dope Burger in a ‘humorous’ script.
No, but really, are they sprinkling cannabis into their burger patty mix, or are they implying that the only people who would buy their stuff are dopes? Either way it’s a bit unlikely isn’t it? Perhaps I should pop in and ask them next time I’m in town…
3) In the old town, on the far side of the dangerous, difficult to cross, thundering main road to the docks, is the yacht marina and what the council are trying to get people to call the ‘Arts Quarter’, there is, on the corner of a street with two or three small art galleries on it, a cafe. The cafe is called Thieving Harry’s. Yes, really.
So, is the bloke who runs it currently a thief, or has been one in the past, a reformed character who still likes to hang on to his old name? Has he served time in prison or did he get away with all his thieving undetected and bought the cafe with his ill-gotten gains? (‘ill-gotten’ that’s an odd phrase isn’t it?)
Perhaps I have the wrong end of the stick here and there is no such person as Thieving H at all – perhaps the place is named after some fictional character in a film or book that I have never seen or read? Maybe he is someone in the Harry Potter films? No, you couldn’t have two characters, both called Harry, could you?
I have no problem with reformed characters with dodgy pasts opening cafes, but using that name seems to me like bragging, trying to be the ‘lovable rogue’ or ‘criminal with a heart of gold’, a violent anti-social thug who is actually ‘really surprisingly nice’ when you get to know him…
Anyway I don’t go in there, the name puts me off, no matter how good his cakes are supposed to be…

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in advertising, archeology, cafe, celebrities, food, history, Hull.UK., humour, observations, religion, seeing, words and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Yes, but why would you call it that?…

  1. Hmm Thieving Harry makes me think he will rip me off in some way, or put salt in my coffee instead of sugar! I wouldn’t go in there either, art cafe or not! A recent definition of “dope” is that something is very good. Its like the word “sick” which means good, or excellent for example: “That presentation you made at the job interview was sick,” or some such thing. Although I’m glad they called it Dope Burger and not Sick Burger…….!

  2. Dana Doran says:

    I wouldn’t eat from Al Pacino’s … forgive me, but I think there could possibly be another Al Pacino in the world aside from the one who has made a living at being an actor….you know, because there are so many people in the world, odds are, there are bound to be some with the exact same name! Go figure….and except for Dave Whatt – apparently you’re the only one. Back to Al….I once saw him on stage in San Francisco in a production called “American Buffalo.” Unfortunately I was sitting orchestra center row 2. How could someone actually get second row seats, center, orchestra for a production with such a famous personality as its star? Or what would be the impetus for the season ticket holder to give up such prime real estate? Because PACINO SPITS when he swears….and American Buffalo is one long string of swear words….I’m talking about projectiles that can be seen – spent the performance ducking and dodging (what a phrase that is, right?). So, yeah, Al Pacino’s Pizza, not so much.

    • Dave Whatt says:

      Perhaps the proprietor of the pizza joint changed his/her name to ‘Al Pacino’, but there is still the question of Al’s likenesses displayed on the front of the shop – mind you, I did hear once that a hand-copied version of a photograph, a drawing or painting, is not legally a breach of copyright… Gosh, you always draw me out DD!…
      I never warmed much to Al. There was always too much snarling and macho stuff for me. I remember him in a documentary about him when he was having a stab at Richard III – he was very rude about, and to, an elderly, British, posh, and possibly camp professor who was an authority on Shakespeare… Mean spirited I thought… Apparently Al doesn’t think much of me either… but hey ho!…

      • Dana Doran says:

        Hollywood types seem to think they are smarter (and perhaps more relevant) than even academics…it’s a remarkable view of the world they have, isn’t it? Mastery of all through imitation! oh my, copyright infringement? I live in fear of anyone noticing…..

      • Dave Whatt says:

        I walked past the Al Pacino Pizza Takeaway yesterday, and sure enough there was Al himself sweeping out the dust from the doorway, he looked up with those bloodshot eyes of his and nodded to me as I passed…
        Ho ho!…

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