Every day on my short commute home from my office at Break.com, I'm driving up Lincoln Blvd. in Venice and I pass a sign.
It's for a business that's selling party balloons... and home health care supplies. I adore this sign. And this idea for a business.
So finally, over the weekend, I got to searching for other businesses selling equally ridiculous, incongruous, unconnected items under one roof. I didn't know if I'd find 11 such signs online.
I found way more. I whittled the list down to my favorite 11 businesses selling two unrelated items. Here are the photos (and a little bit of speculation on how the two business ventures intersect)...
Party balloons and home health care. This is a picture of the sign I drive past every day in Venice, California. I'm not sure exactly how they get overlap business... perhaps some of the party balloons have messages like "Get Well Soon (Until Then, Enjoy This Wheelchair)" or "CONGRATULATIONS On Your New Colostomy Bag!"
Taxidermy and cheese. This business is in Ontario, Canada. It's quite simple really -- enjoy a fine hunk of gouda while we de-stink and then stuff your dead cat.
Subway and tombstones. This one's from Worchester, Massachusetts. I think Subway is better off sticking to its usual pairings: TCBY, or a gas station.
In this case, maybe you get your lower-calorie Subway sandwich -- your turkey, or roast beef, or ham -- then browse tombstones, knowing that meal isn't putting you one step closer to the grave. Why, you'll be just as healthy as Jared! Or, for a more obscure reference, Clay Henry.
Septic tanks and burial vaults. This company's in Portsmouth, Virginia. Turns out, these two products aren't as disconnected as I initially thought -- apparently, they're structurally similar and use similar materials, so when you're manufacturing one, might as well make the other.
Still... if you're going in to buy a septic tank, you probably aren't going to impulse buy a burial vault. I mean... that septic tank is making sure you and your family finally have the indoor plumbing you need to stave off a deadly wave of cholera. Won't be needin' that vault for a while!
Pizza and wedding dresses. This is in Oneida, New York. And seems unfair to the ladies who slim down and spanx up to make sure they can wedge into a dress that will fit by their wedding day. As they try on dresses, do they really need the wafting smell of fresh-out-of-the-oven pepperoni pizza mocking them?
Pets and soda. This is in Springfield, Massachusetts, and I really like it. Because a pet shop and soda shop just have zero connection. Do people really walk out with a new hamster and a 12-pack of Canada Dry? Actually, in some circles, that could be considered a fun lil' evening.
Video rental and tanning booths. This place is in Marietta, Oklahoma. I'm sure they're not this advanced, but the smart move for this business would be to put screens inside the tanning booths so you can watch the movie rented while you bake yourself.
You could even rent a beach movie to really trick yourself into thinking your tan is legit. (Or that you're laying out at one of Marietta, Oklahoma's many world-renown beaches.)
Liquor and fireworks. This business is called Porter's Fireworks and Firewater, and it's in Evanston, Wyoming. Sadly, this combination could be considered kinda logical... nothing makes fireworks more thrilling than lighting them off when you're dangerously intoxicated. Liquor also increases the chances that someone will be cool with lighting a Roman candle out of their nostril, ear or sphincter.
Ice cream and towing. This business is in Marshall, Missouri. I think this is actually kinda brilliant. Your car breaks down. You're angry. You're stranded by the side of the road, that hot Missoura sun bearing down on you. Finally, your tow truck driver arrives... and, as a bonus, he's brought you a double scoop mint chocolate chip ice cream cone. Wouldn't you be a loyal customer of that tow company forever?
Of course, that whole scenario's moot in the bitter cold Missoura winter... but let's just assume Cadwell's does their best business around this time of year.
Cars and pool tables. This place is in Visalia, California. Not sure how this combo works (other than to make the contrived "carpool lane" pun).
Sex toys and storage. The best part about this place (in Altamonte Springs, Florida) is that the design of their sign really makes it arguable that they're only catering to people who have, like, a billion sex toys, thus necessitating an entire storage facility for them.
On a related note, how many people do you think come here with their stuff to move in... buy a sex toy... then lock themselves in their storage locker to test it out. I guarantee it's not zero.