What's the point of having a weblog if you don't use it to let off a little steam once in a while? This I ask myself, and the answer comes back: No point at all! So here goes ...
For a long time I've thought that just because someone owns their own business, it doesn't mean they should name their business after themselves. The iconic example is from the cartoon "Hey Arnold!" featuring a butcher shop called Green Meats. Locally we have Burning Tire and Flaming Furniture. (Okay, I admit it, the place is actually called something like Julien-Flaming Furniture. Is that any better?)
But as annoyances go, this is nothing compared to the Ameri-thing. You've probably heard of AmeriTrade, the online stockbroker. That's just the tip o' the iceberg. Our local yellow pages list the following businesses:
AmeriPride: linen service
AmeriSpec: home inspection service
I'm not at all certain what some of these businesses actually do, although in a few cases I could probably come pretty close. Still, for all we know the people at Ameri-Clear, AmeriClaim or AmeriPlan could be up to just about anything and we'd never know it. We can only hope that whatever they're doing, they do it with the nation's security and safety uppermost in their minds. I mean, you don't use your business's name to tip your hat to the U.S.A. unless you're an enthusiastic patriot, right? Or you want your customers to think you are, anyway. Odds are they're not doing it because they're big fans of explorer Amerigo Vespucci.
I tried a Google search and came up with more examples:
Ameri-Bail: bail bond
Ameri-Brand: pool covers
Ameri-Dome: pool/sun domes
Ameri-Force: temp workers
Ameri-Kart: "plastic rotational molded products"
Ameri-Line: trucking company
Ameri-Shred: paper shredders
Ameri-Stall: horse barns and stalls
AmeriMed: hospital chain
I think it's an inspiration that a person can have surgery, get bailed out, shred sensitive documents, keep horses, and enjoy a backyard pool, all without ever allowing their love of country to stray too far from their minds. And it's these visionary Ameri-companies who make it all possible.