True story: A few months ago, I was travelling on foot on the far west side of Chicago. It was kind of late at night, and the area was more than a little sketchy. I was walking down a blasted-out block where all the businesses looked shuttered or closed. (To parse Terry Pratchett: “It was the kind of place for which being hit by a meteorite would probably qualify as gentrification.”) Suddenly, looming up before me, was a business that looked completely intact. It was… The Meat Place.
Although it listed a phone number, there was no other information as to what the business was. No posters in the window. No business hours listed. No other advertising or signage.
There are lots of websites on the internet for stuff that is unintentionally funny (like The English Fail Blog), but not so many for stuff that is unintentionally eldritch. Maybe there should be. “The Meat Place” sounds more like a Clive Barker or Stephen King story than the name of a business.
So… was it a butcher’s shop? A meat wholesaler? Something else? (There appeared to be several women of negotiable virtue in this neighborhood, so lewd puns would be easy for me to make here.) Of course, I know I could simply call the number listed and enquire as to what it is. And I know that there would be a 95% chance it would simply be a struggling small-business owner (who perhaps doesn’t excel at picking business-names) and I’d feel really bad about having poked fun at a local butcher or something. But part of me would prefer not to confirm this, and instead hang on to the idea that it could be something out of Weird Tales or The Twilight Zone.