Friday, September 14, 2007

Pax, Wo Bist Du?

On the ground floor of the building wherein I earn my daily bread is one of those New Age greasy spoons that are all the rage these days. You know the sort of thing: International Food Exchange, Au Bon Pain, Pret A Manger, and so on. Featuring sissified coffees at Starbucks prices, gourmet soups straight out of an industrial-sized can, sandwiches filled with fattening yet still unpalatable foodstuffs in grotesque combinations. The lineal descendant of that diner in Edward Hopper's Nighthawks.

The greasy spoon under advisement bills itself as Pax Wholesome Foods. And it's that word, wholesome, that I wonder about.

The place is part of some sort of chain or franchise, so I imagine that anything posted on the window of the shop must have been approved by a lofty board of directors, after consultation with the marketing wallahs. But what did they mean by it? Surely, they can't be boasting that their inventory complies with the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906? Are they subtly suggesting that their competitors' products do not? Perhaps it's soft-sell; an arch affectation of modesty, after the manner of those old Avis and Volkswagen ads. It seems unlikely that the chain (or franchise) is governed from some remote country, where the natives are less than hep to the nuances of English, since the shops seem to be confined to Manhattan. Does one actually want to eat in an establishment that feels it necessary to inform its patrons in haec verba that its food is wholesome?

Being too lazy to investigate, I suppose that I shall simply go on wondering. A pity that there still are mysteries in life that do not yield to googling.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Ultra Linking