Saturday, November 29, 2008

like new

I needed a lamp like we have on one side of the bedroom to put on the other, so I went to the store where I bought it. Everything was new. The lamp I bought was new two years ago. That’s like old Roman times. The clerk told me I might find one at Porta Portese, that’s the place where they have Sunday Flea Markets.

I thought I’d try at another store, and farther down I found it. It was the Stock Market, full of candles and new lamps. Today it was a new store with the same type of merchandise, but new management and a new name. When I asked, the young clerk told me the store was now KappaMarte.

Okay. I looked around. The lamp I wanted was ancient history. On the way out I asked for something with the store’s name on. I thought I’d show it to my wife. The paper he had given me was stamped with the new name.

About three blocks later and one block over I saw a proprietor standing in from of his store, filling his time by leaning on the open door. I pulled out the stamped paper and first asked if he was Italian. He shook his head. I showed him the paper with the name of the store I’d just visited and asked him how he pronounced it. He immediately said, “Stock market”

This is Italy, where five years after the inception of the Euro you still heard prices quoted in Lire. So I told him, he was right, cause everyone likes to hear that, and then I asked why he said “stock market” and he said cause that’s what it always was. (like money and the Lire.)

And that’s how it is. The new trendy, highly fashionable store that was the Stock Market has now chosen the name Kappa Marte, or if you read the same word in English it happens to be, with over 1400 stores, the name of one of Americas largest chains of discount stores. Kmart.

On the paper was written K-marte.

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