Tuesday, January 21, 2014

schortbach und zeidz und etwas für das Wochenende

Remember my local barber? The one just down the road bearing the punningly chucklesome name of Herr Kutz? Well, despite my fears for its commercial health and welfare, it seems still to be there, and I'm pretty sure I recall even seeing it with the shutters up and open for business a while back.

If they are struggling in the current grim financial climate where people are probably either growing their hair long to save a few bob or resorting to some hideously botched amateur DIY hair-cutting regime, then they should consider taking a leaf out of the book of the bloke who runs the identically named salon in Plymouth.

This guy (whose name is Anthony Braddon) is complaining that the makers of the latest computer gaming phenomenon Grand Theft Auto V have stolen his hairdressing concept. What he means by this is that somewhere in the astonishingly detailed GTAV universe, as you meander about fulfilling the terms of one of the complex missions, or just kick back and do a bit of exploring in between more important stuff like shooting people and beating up prostitutes, you can find a hairdresser's called Herr Kutz. Where you can probably go in and get a haircut if you want, or just mow down everyone inside with an AK-47 and/or incinerate them with a flamethrower, depending on your mood.

That's about where the similarity ends, though, although Mr. Braddon is most insistent that the fictional version displays a series of similarities with his real-life establishment that absolutely could not have arisen by chance. Like, for instance, the interior of the shop looks like the interior of a hairdresser's. And so does his! And there is a claim that the sign is written in "the same font". Is it, though?

So, basically, kudos to Mr. Braddon for dreaming up a cheap way of getting some publicity for his establishment, which I'm quite prepared to believe offers a veritable cornucopia of tonsorial delights of a splendidly high quality, with no accidental ear-severing, and not even the remotest possibility either of being the unwilling recipient of a Lionel Blair cut or ending up having your throat slashed and being made into a pie. It's somewhat implausible to me that - having presumably trawled the internet looking for stuff to get faux-offended by - Mr. Braddon didn't spot that there are at least three other establishments of the same name in the UK, not to mention one in Canada. With regard to the GTAV use of the name, apparently "he has consulted lawyers over alleged trademark infringement but was told they could not do anything". I'm impressed they managed to stop laughing for long enough to get such a coherent sentence out. Game creators Rockstar North are apparently "yet to comment on the accusations", so they're obviously still pissing themselves.

As always it's hard to work out which bits of this supremely lame non-story originated with Mr. Braddon himself, and which bits have been confabulated by the lazy drunken Daily Mail hack dispatched to suburban Plymouth, probably as a punishment for some misdemeanour - not hating immigrants enough or something. The one bright spot is that, buried in the midst of the article, the careful reader can find - finally! - an explanation for the shop's name. It's - wait for it - "a play on words". Ahhhhh, right.

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