Marketing with Urban Dictionary

Now that I have an hour commute each way two days a week, I am spending more time in gas stations. That means I am seeing more gas station marketing. Thungry? asked a sign on top of the gas pump. It showed a combo of a drink and a snack. I had to look up this word and the first search result was from Urban Dictionary. It is obviously a combination of thirsty and hungry, but it is commonly invoked after consuming mind-altering substances. Slang like this works when you know your audience. It means something to them and means nothing to others.

Competing Adverbs

I am a fan of the preciseness of language. Some words have a subtle nuance that really should cause you to use one word over another. But sometimes, in the real world, people make these distinctions that just don’t make sense. An airport parking kiosk had its sign updated, changing how you are supposed to insert your card into the slot. It changed from rapidly to quickly. Or was it from quickly to rapidly? I really don’t know the difference between these two words, so I don’t know which way the change happened.

Competing Soap Adjectives

There has been much talk about body washes and the shape of bottles lately, but I’m more interested in the words on the bottles. Two different flavors of body wash from the same brand list their scents as refreshing and relaxing. This is soap. To wash your body. It’s not tea. Are they asking us to buy two bottles of soap? A refreshing one for the morning and a relaxing one for the evening? Does the scent of your soap really influence your mood?

The Inefficiency of Plastic Bags

My first job was as supermarket bag boy. I was properly trained – by video and in person – in the packing of grocery bags. These were paper bags with a defined rectangular footprint. I learned how to pack by both shape and weight. This was before the days of plastic bags. Not only do plastic bags have no structure, but they have no rules for packing. I had enough groceries that they fit in a hand-carried basket. It all would’ve fit in one properly packed paper bag. I walked out of the store with five plastic grocery bags.

Mixed Messages

I saw a Honda Accord with a confederate flag license plate. I don’t know how much to read into this, besides just commenting on the incongruousness of it. Supporters of the “War of Northern Aggression,” as it is often referred to in the South, are more likely to drive pick-up trucks or big American gas guzzlers. A furrin car that gets good gas mileage just doesn’t seem to fit.

The Business of Working

As a partially remote employee, I usually work from home. Today I found myself out and about due to some car repair issues and I had an afternoon call with a client. I thought that Seattle’s famous coffeeshop would be a good place to take the call. They have free wifi, so I could be online before the call and make sure there was nothing else going on that I needed to deal with. I was not surprised by the volume of talking, but the music was really loud. Good thing my colleague was also on the phone because I had to be on mute. Do people still work in coffeeshops, or only if they don’t have to be on any calls?

Don’t Ask What’s in It

I was in Philadelphia and met my former colleague, Steve, for lunch. I mentioned that I had never had scrapple before. This is a longtime Philly classic that may or may not be made from a variety of meat products. Steve ordered a side of scrapple to share. It was two thick slices that had been fried crispy. It was pretty good. Nobody ever really asks what’s in it. And know that I have had it, I’m even less inclined to know. I have not searched for the ingredients online and I ask you to do the same.

Disco Highway

While I was driving home from the airport I noticed something glittering on the side of the highway. It was nighttime and my headlights caught it just right as I drove by. It was a large pile of broken glass that just went on and on. There are accidents along this stretch of the highway every day. But this was a lot of glass. The way the light reflected off of it reminded me of a disco ball.