Name that…

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I have raised my aspirations. I used to think about getting a job naming paint colors. Imagine sitting in a room all day with a blank sheet of paper in front of you and one of those 5-pound color spectrum charts. It’s 3-inches thick and has hundreds and hundreds of paint samples. Your job is to give attractive and, more importantly, marketable names to those colors that will entice people to pay $60 a gallon.

Sounds easy unless you’ve actually ever seen one of those sample books. My feng shui consultant Kim (just kidding, sort of) finally convinced me to repaint my living room. I’m sure she meant it kindly when she told me it was like a mausoleum. A particularly dark one. Her feng shui-ing went so far as to say I should not paint the room yellow or blue because…well, because. My feng shui is already on shaky ground because apparently I have the ugliest kitchen wallpaper ever pasted. In my defense, it goes well with the mausoleum. Kim, of course, owns her own sample book because … well, because.

I knew I was in trouble when the sample book had over fourteen pages of what the uninitiated would call white. Oh honey, white doesn’t sell. Dover white, ice white, off white, and eggshell. That’s what sells. Also Silence, Spring Breeze, Sorbet, and Sand. And that wasn’t even all of the esses. Bear in mind there are six samples per page. Let’s see … 14-times-six, carry the two, and that is a beau coup of whites, as we say in Troy.

Don’t tell Kim but I did sneak a peek at the blues and yellows. Then I hit upon the greens. There were dozens and dozens of greens. It was hopeless. Just to prove irony didn’t die the day Le Duc Tho won the Nobel Peace Prize, I settled on a color called “Restful Green.” I am not making this up. It’s a shade somewhere between light green and not light green and it’s very restful.

Even better than a job naming paint colors would be one naming new medicines. At least naming new medicines has some fairly strict guidelines. Any new medicine must have a truly bizarre name. The name must adhere to a minimum of two of the following: There must be a Q but no U. There must be a maximum of two vowels per word. Doubled vowels count as one, like in Quaalude. (Sorry about the U.) There must be a Z, a Y, or an X, preferably more than one and much preferably doubled such as Dozzyy.

The name of the medicine must go into an ad so annoying (ask your doctor today!) you want to commit TV commercial murder. The one with the people dancing around a fountain is the worst. I think they’re dancing. It’s possible it’s just an epidemic of St. Vitus disease and if that’s the case, there would be another weirdly named medicine to cure it.

Name me even one public fountain that people are allowed to dance on. It just doesn’t happen. Someone would slip and fall into the fountain while waiting for their cue to start dancing (five, six, seven, EIGHT!) There would be a big law suit with one of those firms that have the second most annoying ads. (Don’t call those out-of-town ambulance chasers. Call us. Your local ambulance chasers.)

The medicine in the horrible fountain-dancing-frenzy ad is for diabetes. It says so in really big letters. In really small letters, it mentions that a side effect of the medicine, besides making you break into dance on public fountains, is gangrene in a very very private place that you really really do not want to have gangrene in. Listen, if I were marketing a product that made your you-know-what slough off, I’d put that unfortunate detail in small print, too. And certainly distract people with fountain dancing.

Marla Boone resides in Covington and writes for Miami Valley Today.

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