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Pictures From Our Readers: Ill-Advised Business Names

The response to our second reader photo challenge was great, and we got a ton of hilarious submissions! We're posting most of them here, and all of them on our Flickr page. Enjoy!

Anatomically-inclined business names
We had so many submissions in this category, we were actually able to organize them by body part:

We received two pictures of Massachusetts liquor stores named "Bunghole," from Cody (above, in Peabody) and Sabrina (below, in Salem). According to Wikipedia, "a bunghole is a hole bored in a liquid-tight barrel," though it's been used as naughty slang since at least the 13th century (famously making an appearance in Dante's Inferno).

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We also got two pictures of the same business, from readers Kati and Laura -- the unfortunately-named Analtech in Newark, Delaware. (I'm sure it's pronounced an-AL-tech, guys. Jeez, grow up!)
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Jocelyn sent us a snap of Oregon's own T&A Supply Co., which judging from their name, keeps Nevada well-stocked with pasties and stripper poles.
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This package store is just outside of Atlanta. (Thanks, Lucy!)
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Furniture guaranteed to keep you up at night. (Heh. Sorry.)
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Puntastic business names
The hair weaves in Pine Bluff, Arkansas are beyond belief. (Thanks to Darcie!)
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This had to be intentional. Right? (From Josh and Joanna Burress, taken near Kokomo, Indiana.)
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Caroline Hanke sent in this picture of a really full-service gas station.
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Unfortunate business names
From reader Katherine: tanning for the truly pale.
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Kelly found this sign in southern Indiana. (Just because you own the place doesn't mean you have to name it after yourself.)
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From Mindy, the least popular furniture store in Mason City, Iowa.
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Joe Warner writes that this business in Acworth, Georgia was torn down a few years ago. I guess the formula just wasn't working.
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Asian restaurants

There could've been thousands of pictures in this column, but we liked these three the best. From J.J. in Poughkeepsie:
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In Bath, Maine (thanks, Austin):
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Reader Christine pointed out this photo of San Diego's own Pho King (it's pronounced fuh), taken by the gourmands at mmm-yoso!
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There are lots of these places in Los Angeles, but apparently people in other parts of the world (like reader Tori) think that donuts and Chinese food make strange platefellows:
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Just plain odd
There's really no other way to classify these. What were they thinking?

More weirdness from Darcie in Pine Bluff, Arkansas:
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Discount caskets? (I hope they're not used.) Thanks, Alyssa!
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Sarah sent us this shot from Shreveport, Louisiana. She hoped this was a sign for an exterminator business, but needless to say, didn't go inside to investigate.
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Laura found this on vacation in Phoenix about 15 years ago. Cute!
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Georgetown's own Moby Dick Kabob. (Say that five times fast.) Thanks to Luz.
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On-purpose weird business names
When you have no marketing budget, sometimes the best way to get the word out about your business is by giving it a ridiculous name. We're pretty sure that's what happened to these fine establishments.

From Kevin:
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A Phillipsburg, Kansas restaurant found by Alyssa:
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A guy who got tired of answering the question "what kind of stuff do you sell?" From Jocelyn:
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More peculiarity from Pine Bluff:
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A frozen yogurt place in Salt Lake (thanks Devora), whose motto appears to be "no spooning on Sundays!"
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Bars
There seems to be a long-standing tradition of giving bizarre names to drinking establishments. Here are a few.

Nothing special about this Lancaster, Ohio saloon (thanks, Sheya):
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Live nude cattle in Star Valley, Arizona. (Thanks, Susan.)
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Both the name and logo of this business seem to celebrate drunk driving:
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Just around the corner from the Mormon temple in Salt Lake City (thanks, Jessica):
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9 Things You Should Keep in Mind Around Someone Observing Ramadan
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To mark the ninth (and most holy) month in the Islamic calendar, Muslims around the world observe Ramadan. Often compared to Lent in Christianity and Yom Kippur in Judaism, Ramadan is all about restraint. For one month, Muslims observing Ramadan fast during the day and then feast at night.

By abstaining from food and water (as well as sex, smoking, fighting, etc.) during daylight, Muslims strive to practice discipline, instill gratitude for what they have, and draw closer to Allah. To be respectful and not annoy observers, here are nine things you should never say or do to someone observing Ramadan.

1. DON'T JOKE ABOUT WEIGHT LOSS.

A traditional iftar meal.
A traditional iftar meal.
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Although it might be tempting to joke about Ramadan being a good excuse to lose weight, it is a time for spiritual reflection and is a serious matter. Observers undertake the challenge of fasting for religious and spiritual reasons rather than aesthetic ones. And, once the sun sets each night, many Muslims prepare a hearty iftar (the meal that breaks the fast) of dates, curries, rice dishes, and other delicious foods. The suhoor (the pre-dawn meal) is often fresh fruit, bread, cheese, and dishes that are high in fiber and complex carbohydrates. So the idea of a cleanse is pretty far from their minds.

2. DON'T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS.

An Indian Muslim student recites from the Quran in a classroom during the holy month of Ramadan.
NOAH SEELAM, AFP/Getty Images

There are approximately 1.8 billion Muslims around the world, but not all of them observe Ramadan the same way. Although most observant Muslims fast for Ramadan, don't assume that every Muslim you meet has the same methods, traditions, and attitudes towards fasting. For some, Ramadan is more about prayer, reading the Qur'an, and performing acts of charity than merely about forgoing food and drink. And for those who may be exempted from the daily fasting, such as pregnant or nursing women, the elderly, or those with various health conditions, they might not appreciate the reminder from nosey busy-bodies that they aren't participating in the traditional way.

3. SAY "RAMADAN MUBARAK" INSTEAD OF "HAPPY RAMADAN."

A sign which reads
A sign which reads "Ramadan Kareem" in Arabic is seen pictured in front of the Burj Khalifa in downtown Dubai.
GIUSEPPE CACACE, AFP/Getty Images

Rather than wishing someone a happy Ramadan, being more thoughtful with your choice of words can show that you understand and respect the sanctity of their holy month. Saying "Ramadan Mubarak" or "Ramadan Kareem" are the traditional ways to impart warm wishes—they both convey the generosity and blessings associated with the month. The actual party comes after Ramadan, when Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr, an up to three-day festival that involves plenty of food, time with family, and gifts.

4. DON'T BE A FOOD PUSHER.

Muslim woman saying no to an apple.
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Even if the idea of not eating or drinking all day might be unfathomable to you, don't push food onto anyone observing Ramadan. While fasting all day for a month can cause mild fatigue, dehydration, and dizziness, don't try to convince participating Muslims to eat or drink something—they are fully aware of any side effects they may feel throughout the day. Instead, be respectful of their decision to fast and offer to lend a hand with something like chores, errands, or anything unrelated to food.

5. ACCEPT THAT WATER ISN'T ON THE MENU.

Dates and a glass of water.
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Muslims who observe Ramadan don't sip any liquids during daytime. No water, coffee, tea, or juice. Zilch. Going without water is even harder than going without food, so be aware of the struggle and accept it. It's all part of the sacrifice and self-discipline inherent in Ramadan.

6. RESPECT PEOPLE'S PRIVACY.

Pregnant woman doing yoga.
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Some Muslims choose not to fast during Ramadan for medical or other personal reasons, and they may not appreciate being badgered with questions about why they may be eating or drinking rather than fasting. Children and the elderly generally don't fast all day, and people who are sick are exempt from fasting. Other conditions that preclude fasting during Ramadan are pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menstruation (although, if possible, people generally make up the days later).

7. BE MINDFUL OF ENERGY LEVELS.

Woman running on the beach.
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Eschewing food and drink for hours at a time can cause lethargy, so be aware that Muslims observing Ramadan may be more tired than usual. Your Muslim friends and coworkers don't stop working for an entire month, but they may tweak their schedules to allow for more rest. They may also stay indoors more (to prevent overheating) and avoid unnecessary physical activity to conserve energy. So, don't be offended if they aren't down for a pick-up game of basketball or soccer. We can't all be elite athletes.

8. DON'T OBSESS OVER FOOD AND HUNGER.

Family playing in the park.
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One of the worst things you can do to someone on a new diet is to obsess over all the cheeseburgers, pizza, and cupcakes they can't have. Similarly, most Muslims observing Ramadan don't want to have in-depth conversations about all the food and beverages they're avoiding. So, be mindful that you don't become the constant reminder of how many hours are left until sundown—just as you shouldn't joke about weight loss, you shouldn't call attention to any hunger pangs.

9. DON'T BE AFRAID TO EAT YOUR OWN FOOD.

Coworkers discussing a project on couches.
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Although it's nice to avoid talking about food in front of a fasting Muslim, don't be afraid to eat your own food as you normally would. Seeing other people eating and drinking isn't offensive—Muslims believe that Ramadan is all about sacrifice and self-discipline, and they're aware that not everyone participates. However, perhaps try to avoid scheduling lunch meetings or afternoon barbecues with your Muslim colleagues and friends. Any of those can surely wait until after Ramadan ends.

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