I’ve occasionally wondered what it would take for me and my family to quit Boston and move to New York City. And then I think: obviously, meatballs! Open a meatball restaurant in New York, and watch the money pour in.
The most important thing to do when you open a new meatball restaurant in Times Square is to give it an awesome name. Some options:
- Pat’s Meatball Emporium
- Pat’s House of Meatballs
- Smiling Pat’s Meatball Palace
- Barnicle Pat’s Meatball Garden
- Cornmeal Pat’s House of Wedding Meat
- Chutney Pat’s Meatball Cellar
- Husky Pat’s Meatball Zone
- Gritty Pat's Meatball Hut
- Speedy Pat's Meatball Express
- New York Pat's Boston Meatballs
- Boston Pat's New York Meatballs
- Pat's Noisy Meatball Bistro
- Howlin' Pat's Meatball Eatery
- Blind Boy McVay's Meatball Patio
- Mellow Pat's Meatball Cafe
- Greedy Pat's Meatball Sliders
Please take a moment to vote for your favorite, or offer alternatives.
The phone rings, interrupting a rare moment of quiet. Which robot is calling now? The one at CVS, reminding me for the third time to pick up a prescription? The City of Boston’s nutrition line, asserting that breakfast is key to my children’s educational development? Or our mystery caller, vaguely identified as “800 service” (i.e. marketing designed to waste my time). I investigate further, knowing that my wife gets annoyed if I let messages about retrieving the damned pills from CVS go to voicemail instead of listening for a second and then hanging up. It’s worse than I thought: “Big Brother” reads the Caller-ID screen. I knew that one day I’d be on Big Brother’s call list. (Though, in this case, I believe Big Sister was involved, too).
Once, we received a message on voice mail “related to a drawing you entered at Storyland.” My wife retrieved the message and alerted me that it was something about a crooked house. Yes, yes, I recalled that particular sweepstakes! This wasn’t just any old crooked house; it was a whimsical child’s play house, well-built of wood framing and siding, and crooked in a comical way, which would be enormously interesting to my children for about half an hour, and then would just take up a huge chunk of my very limited yard space. But I called back anyway because I win drawings as frequently as everyone else does. Why not see if I won this one and then decline the offer (but take the money!)? The guy I was supposed to speak to had left for the day. I asked his colleague if I’d won something; she was suspiciously evasive on this point. She was also evasive on the name of the outfit that was paying her and her colleague to dial me up. A few more questions revealed that they were trying to sell me a vacation time-share, having used the crooked house random drawing scheme to lure me in and obtain my phone number. Over the ensuing days, I received more messages on voice-mail, the final one claiming to be “your last chance” (at what?). Eventually the calls stopped altogether. So, no crooked child’s play house, but as I note to myself more often that I care to, who needs one of those when you already have a full size crooked house to play in?
What I’m developing here is a concept, not an actual product. The concept grew out of a need I had for a new soap dish for the utility sink in the basement of my home. I found what appeared (to my admittedly inexperienced eye) to be an old ceramic dish. I examined the object carefully: yes, indeed, it was a dish. I gently stroked it’s cracked surface with my fingertips, wondering what wonders the object might tell of times gone by if given a voice; perhaps it might say, “I used to be a soap dish, and wish to be a soap dish once again!” Inspirational, no? This has led me to hire lawyers to sue the bejesus out of any of you who try to steal my concept of re-using old things in the basements of homes, where you don’t really need high-end home goods. No, I haven’t obtained a re-usage patent for this idea I have, but I’m working on that feverishly.