Thursday, March 26, 2009

That's Just Futz, Man

The Miranda to Ainsley's Carrie, her dear BFF, sent home a little homemade invitation to her birthday party. It was sooo cute; Miranda drew a little girl in a purple dress and wrote above it:

Please come to my B party I live close to Nuck N Futz.

It was one of those things where I looked at it multiple times before the absurdity hit me.

I know exactly where the Nuck N Futz is. Believe it or not, it's a bar and grill here in the area that's actually pretty family-friendly, in spite of the name. In the past when I've driven by it, its "clever" name has barely registered. Cute, I think. I can't wait until Ainsley puts two and two together and gets THAT joke.

The other night at bedtime, Ainsley asked her dad,

"Daddy, can I go to Miranda's birthday party? Her house is by the Nuck N Futz."

Jason turned around to look at me in that special silent way of parents: Did she just say what I think she said? Jason doesn't drive the same rural routes I sometimes do to run errands in the southern part of our county, and this is an establishment he previously hadn't heard of.

I showed him the invitation to let him know our kid wasn't doing some sort of pig-Latin cursing (or pig-Jesus-language cursing, if you're Ainsley). Like me, even knowing that local kids actually join their parents sometimes in eating at a grill called Nuck N Futz doesn't make it any more comfortable to hear a six-year-old say it out loud.

I'm no prude, and I don't have the cleanest mouth. But I don't know that I want "Nuck N Futz" in my kid's vocabulary yet, you know?

It's the hypocrisy that gets me, too. My city is fairly conservative, but out in the country, around where I work and Ainsley goes to school, it's ultra conservative. These are people who preach "family values" and talk about declining morality and go about challenging books in high school libraries that feature mild sexual content and/or adult lanuage. They go to church every Sunday and are suspicious of people that don't. And yet a local family-ish restaurant calls itself Nuck N Futz and erects (har) a big, lighted sign and hails as a local landmark. I live in that subdivision across from the Nuck N Futz. No biggie.

I have no problem with suggestive bar names in and of themselves. Is Nuck N Futz really any less subtle a name than Hooters? I do however, have a problem, with double standards. If I had a library book here called Nuck N Futz, I bet it would get challenged. My principal would probably question that choice. But it's okay if it's a local entreprenurial enterprise as long as the wings are good (and I hear they are.)

Does your neighborhood have any restaurants or bars with colorful names? Would you be completely cool with your six-year-old saying it out loud and often?


Melmart said...

I've recently been disturbed by the Quizno's tv spot for its new torpedo sub. The oven sounds very perverted and maybe gay...I'm not sure. Not that I care if an oven is gay or not but I definitely would be buying a new one if it were perverted. Oh, wait....a talking oven in general....hmm. Maybe I'd keep it....maybe I'd teach it to sing the Michigan Rag.

But my original point...if i had a kid....i think I'd be rather uncomfortable trying to explain the inevitable questions that would be asked....or at least the questions I would have asked as a kid would have my parents squirming to answer delicately.

DRoss said...

I feel you about kids throwing things around that make you a little queasy. Not bar names, in my case - if nothing else, I would have a tough time taking issue with the Nuck N Futz, given my chicken wing connections.

Meg always wants to act out little dramas just before bedtime. It's tedious and time consuming but often funny. Lately she has been fixated on a storyline involving pregnant animals having ultrasounds, giving birth and nursing their young. I swear I am not making this up.

She has a jarring amount of detail between those 5-year-old ears. Some of it comes from several viewings of Spirit: the Stallion of the Cimmarron (her fave movie). Meg credited a good long scene dealing with the birth of Spirit for turning her attention to the subject. I wouldn't know since the Bryan Adams soundtrack sends me scurrying from the room anytime the DVD plays.

But the "push! push!" part of it I blame on BR who didn't bother to switch channels when Dwight Schrute and Michael practiced with a greased watermelon in the baby shower episode of The Office. By the time I realized she was thunderstruck, it was too late to say, "Hey! let's see what's on Nick JR."

I've been struggling with how to react to this. To flip out and /or refuse to ever play along would only pique her interest further. And I pride myself on not being one of those types who think that it's best for people -particularly young people- to be as ignorant as possible about mammalian reproduction.

I've been trying with some success to play the "I'm bored with this storyline." card. But she's on to me. Just yesterday she walked up with a couple of Barbie dolls and with a wicked glint in her eye directs me to have one ask the other if "she has a baby in her belly."

Oh, the double-edged sword of having a very observant kid with a sharp memory. . .