Chevy No Va! (Chevy Doesn’t Go!)

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Timely Writer e1646366182602

English can be an amusing and sometimes dangerous language in the hands of advertising Mad Men, business owners, or a verbally dyslexic columnist such as moi. While ads for the Chevy Nova were met with chuckles in Puerto Rico 60 years ago, one doesn’t have to leave the Manchester environs to get the business funny for your money:

The Chevy No Va – joke was on us.

Vacuum Cleaner Hospital: Is there an ER? Are there visiting hours? Is Anthem General Appliance Insurance accepted?

Unmatched Autos: You take the Hummer. I’ll take the Chevy Volt.

Fences Unlimited: This could go on forever.

Family Dollar: Or three families for two dollars.

Accurate Tree Removal and Accurate Title: Their inaccurate competitors had a tree crash down on the wrong house.

“Lobsters! Alive and Kicking!” is a new brightly-colored sign at Market Basket as if the crustaceans are starring in A Chorus Line. Pair this with the “Live Lobster is Back!” sign seen on the way to Salisbury Beach. Who knew shellfish had such hidden talents!  Live Lobster opens his comedy show with, “I’m gonna shell you a story. A scallop and a pistachio walk into a bar…”

Heavens Gas: Makes driving a holy experience. As Kurt Vonnegut said: “It’s all clouds and curlicues.”

Time to get Sirius: Let’s get Sirius for a moment with the names of two local restaurants:

Don Quijote owner Sandra Almonte said the Union Street Latino restaurant was named by her ex-husband as “He wanted a name that everyone, not just Latinos, knew.”
So what if the knight-errant from La Mancha had trouble distinguishing a good deed from well, a foolish quixotic quest. “My ex is a lot like that,” Almonte said about the doing-right part, though we know good deeds are always at the heart of a restaurant where, as she says, “Everything is made with love.”
1913 Red Arrow Garage Sign
1913 Red Arrow Garage sign, which inspired an iconic eatery.

Manchester’s Red Arrow Diner will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in October, but did you know it’s named after the formerly-adjacent Red Arrow Garage which specialized in Cadillacs? You can catch a “Diner Dish of the Decade” now and the 11 platters also match the 11 different Manchester eatery names the diner has gone under. These include the former Red Arrow Bakery on Amory Street and the Red Arrow Inn and Café. If you fell asleep over your midnight pancakes they’d tuck you in.


IMG 3224 scaled
Tucker’s quizzical mascot.

We’re always guessing what he’s supposed to be,” one of the wait staff at Tucker’s restaurant in Hooksett told me about their prominent logo. “We call him ‘Tiki Man.’ “

Fictitious sections at Elm Street’s Bookery: Cookery, Crookery (bios of Bernie Madoff and Richard Nixon), Hookery (fishing and rugs), Lookery (photography), Mookery (baseball players Mookie Betts, Mookie Wilson and Spike Lee’s character in Do the Right Thing), Poohkery, (children’s), Rookery (chess and birds), Snookery (bios of W.C. Fields and Snooki from Jersey Shore), Wookery (Star Wars), and Zookery (zoos and zucchinis).

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The Mookery, anyone?

Hop Knot owner Kenny Frasch stated the obvious to me: “We’re named after beer and pretzels.”

Duh on me, but I still have trouble believing a single hop is responsible for all of the Hop Knot’s beer options. Personally, I like pretzels and beer better than beer and pretzels, though (K)not Hops would leave me wondering what’s in my brew.

Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Bullwinkle are essential to the Greater Manchester and Frostbite Falls, Minnesota, Chambers of Commerce.

The duo is well-represented in and around Manchester in the Thirsty Moose Taphouse, The Local Moose Café, Nashua’s Lucky Moose Casino & Tavern, and Portsmouth and Epping’s Animal Damage Control.

The latter addresses flying squirrel squadrons on its website: “Flying squirrels can be noisy at night, scampering around, dropping nuts and making vocalizations at times.”

Beware Rocket J. Squirrel scampering around your attic in an F-15 yelling “Geronimo!” or “Eat this Boris and Natasha!” as he jettisons exploding nuts with fins.

In a Bullwinkle-like statement, a staff person at the Thirsty Moose described the name thusly: “I think it has to do with us being a New Hampshire business and a taphouse.”

IMG 3179 1 scaled
… it came and went.


Junk In the Trunk Thrift Store (Northridge, MA)- They’ve got a big back room.

Deli & Wi gs- Losing an “n” can make things a little hairy for your Italian sub.

Come n’ Go is a vacant Lee convenience store that is now the Came n’ Went.

A straight-from-the-heart Red Arrow thank you to publicist Ami D’Amelio of Just Flow Events & Marketing for info on the Red Arrow Diner, to Sandra Almonte and to Kenny Frasch.

Please support local businesses whatever their names.


About this Author

John Angelo

John Angelo’s humor has appeared in “Publisher’s Weekly,” “Writer’s Digest,” and “American Bookseller.” He is a frequent contributor to the “New Hampshire Business Review.” For a Christmas concert at his Catholic grammar school, the nuns told him to mouth the words and that he’d better not make a sound under any circumstances.