Times are tough, America, I know, you know it, even my next-door neighbor Baxter knows it, and he’s pretty unhinged. Wages are stagnant, and economic growth remains but a dream, like a maple-frosted donut that hums Gordon Lightfoot songs while you eat it. Seriously, we can put a man on the moon but we can’t come up with a singing pastry? Come on, Big Bio-Agriculture, quit phoning it in.
Where was I? Ah, yes, the no-growth economy. One might be tempted to consider cashing out and investing everything in a new franchise opportunity. And why not? Many of them are can’t-lose business propositions. But not all of them, and there’s the rub. This is where one and all we must stack hands and, answering REO Speedwagon follow our heads, not our hearts. Emotion clouds judgment, and in these matters it’s important that…What’s that, you’re questioning me? Ah, the insolence! And from so many who over the years have benefited from my sage counsel.
I’ll change names to protect the innocent, but you know who you are. Tim, I was right about your Asian Fusion restaurant, wasn’t I? No matter how good the fare, calling it Thai Me Up would have attracted the wrong clientele. Dr. Gregg, I think we both agree that putting Edwin Starr on your 1998 nuclear nonproliferation panel back at SAIS – Arms Race: What Is It Good For? – would have stifled discussion. And Professor Farleigh, while it’s great that you went paperless in your French Novel symposium, undergrads wouldn’t have oversubscribed had you called the course Bring Your Own Balzac.
And so, my bona fides established, here are some franchise opportunities that in my humble opinion you should avoid like the plague:
- The Pennsylvania Amish Gamer (Dutch Country Electronics Store)
- Please Stop Tickling Me, Elmo (Hypoallergenic Toy Store)
- Tommy John’s (Sandwich Shop and Outpatient Elbow Surgery Center)
- Dangerously Hot Yoga (Lake Havasu City, Arizona Franchise)
- The Dutch Oven (Flemish Cuisine)
- Agent Orange Theory (Aversion Therapy Fitness)
- Baby Manson (Interactive Multimedia Products for Toddlers)
- The Conscientious Objector (Military Base Located Non-Alcoholic Bars)
- So You Think You Can Whittle? (American Television Distribution Rights, Northeast Corridor)
- Say It, Don’t Spray It (Sarcastic Teenage Car Wash)
- The Dutch Rub (Knuckles-Only Cranial Massage)
- Angry Birds (Placement of Parrots Rescued from Foul-Mouthed Homes)
- Gesundheit (Salad Bar)
- Zookeeper (Cologne Line)
- Well This Sucks (Commercial/Residential Vacuum Repair)
- What The Hell Are We Doing? (Non-Alcoholic Beer Game Distributor)
- Henrietta’s Secret Pleasure (Maddeningly Misleading Gardening Store Along Prurient Stretch of Interstate)
- Dark Night of the Soul Cycle (Roman Catholic Cycle-Mysticism)
You’re welcome, America. You’re welcome.