Sunday, October 24, 2010

What Happened to Richard?

As recently as one generation ago, the name 'Dick' (most often a nickname for Richard - now how does THAT work?) was a fine and acceptable moniker. Dick Clark, Dick Van Patten, Dick Nixon, Dick Van Dyck (unfortunate sounding in every way).

But the name 'Dick' is only met with snickers nowadays. We all know what a dick is. When used in traffic, it is spat out with rage. When used to belittle, i.e. "dick-for-brains", the accent is firmly planted on it as first syllable.

There is a great big sporting goods chain that used to have a different, cool-in-an-athletic-sort-of-way name. It changed hands and became 'Dick's'. Whose bright idea was that? You go to the mall and it is the anchor store. You turn into the parking lot and see small signs for J.C. Penney. Macy*s. Hot Topic. Anthropologie. Then, looming in front, DICK'S!!!!

Now, there is some subconscious, Freudian reasoning, I guess. Dick's sells golf clubs and big weight sets. It has an enormous hunting department and carries many basketball and hockey jerseys.

But studies show that women are by far, the main patrons of such shopping centers. Did the new owner really think these women would be thrilled and enticed by this new name? "After lunch at La Petit Sushi and a pedi at Spa Francois, where should we go next, Brittany?" "Hmm, like, let me think. . . I know! Let's go to my totally favorite boutique! DICK'S!!!"

I don't think so.

In the animal kingdom, brains come in all shapes and sizes.
This is also true of humans.

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