Saturday, November 4, 2006

Traveling in North Carolina

Traveling in NC is interesting - I do have family roots there, and I have spent many vacations there, so I guess I was partly home. As I was riding the bus through the central part of NC, I saw many interesting stores and shops that surpass my favorites in Los Angeles (e.g., "Donuts and Chicken" or “Rosco's House of Chicken and Waffle”) (NOTE: everyone should eat at Rosco's in LA sometime – yum!).

One place that cracked me up was a building that had a sign that said “Chicken Barn and Coin Laundry and Cleaners.” There were two drive-in windows. I am assuming one for chicken the other for dry-cleaning. This might not be a bad idea. What a time saver for the over-worked, time-limited, spouse/parent:

Husband: "Honey, I am going to run by and pick up the dry-cleaning and a bucket of chicken".

Wife: “Don’t forget to ask about the sauce?

Husband: “Did you mean for the chicken or the sauce stains in the dry cleaning?

Also, people who are sitting in the coin laundry facility waiting for their clothes will be smelling the scrumptious fried chicken, gizzards, green beans cooked in lard, gravy, cornbread, and so on (YUM!!!)

Customer #1: "Well, I do need to get some extra quarters for the dryer. I could just order some chicken gizzards and use the change for the dryer." (nice justification)

Customer #2: "Hm, do I use my last 4 quarters on the dryer or on the two drumstick special?" (tough decision) ... "I think I will get the two drumsticks and just put the wet clothes in the back of the pickup on the way home" (very nice justification)

I think their business would definitely get high volumes of repeat business as people take their 'clean' clothes home (which smell like chicken) and then wonder why they are always craving fried chicken.

The place can also save on marketing costs by creating banners or slogans that work for both. For example:

Banner 1: “Extra crispy served here” – which could easily refer to the chicken or the starch needed for those Redneck jeans.

Banner 2: “What makes us special is our ancient Chinese secret” – which again could refer to the chicken (think Colonel Sanders) or the cleaning power (think Calgon).

Okay, I think I have played the “Chicken Barn and Coin Laundry and Cleaners” as far as I can.

Tattoos and Body Piercing...

I noticed that the vast majority of people in the Greyhound Bus had numerous tattoos and body piercings. Well, on my trip I passed a strip mall that had FOUR Tattoo/Body Piercing stores … Wow! And, I thought it was popular in Los Angeles. Obviously, body modification is very very popular in North Carolina.

Anyway, the shops all had banners. They are each listed below:

"Cheapest Tattoos and Body Piercing Around".

PAINLESS Tattoos and Body Piercing"

"Sterile Needles used for ALL Procedures"

"Veteran's Day Special - All flag tattoos half price".

Now that is a tough decision, cheap, painless, sterile, or what the heck, get a flag tattoo at half price. God Bless America!

Okay, this one cracked me up, and is making me regret leaving my camcorder and camera at home. As I was riding the bus through some small town in NC, I pass four places of business on the same block. The first one's name was “Peak-A-Boo Boutique” followed by “Pork Hut” followed by “Second Fling Consignment” followed by “Judgment Day Livestock.” Sounds like a logical order … think about it :) (To be completely honest, the boutique was across the street)

I also noticed that folk in North Carolina like to use the word 'hut' and ‘barn’ in their business names. I saw Chicken Hut, Pork Hut, Chicken Barn, Pork Barn, Pig Hut, and one shop was actually called the Barn Hut.

Another thing I saw on a store window was

"We sell...
Belt buckles
And other groceries"

Interesting order to their priorities :)

And the last amusing thing I saw was a small white building that had a hand-painted sign above the door that said “Catfish Guts” ... I have no clue whether it was a cafĂ©, fishing/bait shop, or who knows what?

Now you may think I have a snobbish view towards North Carolina, but I have to add this. As I rode down the road, I loved looking at the beautiful fall trees in green, yellow, orange, and red. It was absolutely stunning! Also, many cotton patches were in bloom. It looked like snow in the fields. In addition, the patches of water every few miles made me envision sitting on the bank catching some brim, bass, catfish, and pickerel. Ah yes! And finally, I enjoyed seeing the small towns where people sometimes waved at the bus as we drove by. I don’t see that response very often in California. I am sure if I had spent any time in the communities, I would have enjoyed the friendly atmosphere where the employees called their customers “honey, dear, hun”, said "thank you hun, have a great day", and so on. Well, tomorrow I will be at a North Carolina cookout. I will keep you posted.

Enjoy life

After posting this, I got a response from one of my friends who reminded me of the grocery stores named "Piggly Wiggly." And another friend reminded me of the infamous "Pig Pickins" (where they slow cook a pig in the ground - yum yum yum).

No comments: