Mental Floss

Friday Happy Hour: Strange Interviews, Punny Stores & Earworms

Jason English

Every Friday, I post a series of unrelated questions meant to spark conversation in the comments. Answer one, answer all, respond to someone else's reply, whatever you want. Very casual. On to this week's topics of discussion...

1. Earlier this decade, I had an interview with a big PR firm. The first person I met with asked me where I got my news—I think her exact question was, "What newspapers do you subscribe to?" I told her I read the New York Times and New York Post online. This immediately put me on her "no" list. "You can't trust what you read online," she told me. I stressed again that I was reading the same articles she was reading in the printed paper, but she wasn't buying it. "People can fake those web addresses, you know," she said. "You don't know what you're reading." What's the most irrational thing you've ever encountered in a job interview?

2. A couple years ago, David Israel asked you to share your favorite punny store names. (His entry: "The Merchant of Tennis.") I think it's time to ask again: what great/terrible punny store names have you seen or been to?

3. A couple months ago, for several long days, I had the Perfect Strangers theme song stuck in my head. Usually when that happens, if I listen to the offending song in its entirety, it goes away. But not that time. You know how I got it out of my head? I had to sing along. If someone had hidden a camera in my office, they'd have a YouTube sensation on their hands. The weird thing was, I haven't seen an episode of Perfect Strangers in many years. What's the strangest song you couldn't get out of your head?
* * * * *
Last week, after asking you to dream up a new theme restaurant chain, I offered a free mental_floss t-shirt to the most creative budding restaurateur. We have a tie.

First, Curt Peinhardt's "Pros & Cons," featuring the memorabilia of sports stars who've run afoul of the law (with bonus points for his second suggestion—a steakhouse called Belmont Steaks). Second, "S*** My Girlfriend Won't Eat," which comes from picky eater Danielle and her boyfriend. Here's her pitch: "Serving only the most inventive and disgusting dishes made from pure unadulterated necessity "“ notably the "spaghetti burrito," or the "peanut butter and jelly on a hot dog." The decorum would be a scale model of our living room, and guests would be seated awkwardly around the coffee table as my boyfriend shoves colorful combinations of leftovers under their noses." This was a hard decision; thanks to everyone for playing along! Curt & Danielle, I'll be in touch about your shirts.

* * * * *

ksLogo /

And finally, I need to thank one of our readers for helping me out of a jam last summer. I keep a personal blog where I post pictures of my daughter (and, on occasion, random NBA predictions). In June, it was hacked, which infected the PCs of many relatives. I posted a plea for technical assistance in that week's Friday Happy Hour, and Jim Hegarty answered the call.

On a Saturday, he took a look, isolated the problem, fixed it, and gave me some tips to make sure it didn't happen again. He wouldn't accept payment, so I told him if he ever had something to promote, I'd be happy to mention it here. Jim emailed the other day to say his company had launched something called KlikSpy, which is a pretty cool visual behavior tracking tool for your website. If you've got a site of your own and want to see how people are actually using it, give it a look!

Thanks again, Jim!


[See all the previous Friday Happy Hour transcripts.]