thinglets: Couche Tard and Sloche Junkies

Perhaps one of the greatest names ever for a convenience store has evolved in translation.

Mac's (which started as Mac's Milk) has been a long-stnading brand in Ontario, Canada. While originally epitomized by a cat with a tartan cap, for the past generation the chain, having been purchased by a Quebec conglomorate and had their store name shortened to just Mac's, now boasts a winking owl as the corporate mascot.

Perhaps the best part of the acquisition was the rebranding of the store name in Quebec from Mac's to Couche Tard. Couche Tard literally translates to "up late", but in the context of the owl logo (appropriated from a previous acquisition called Winky's) makes the more common interpretation of Couche Tard as Night Owl.

Above and beyond the history, Couche Tard is just a really great name to yell at people when you want to sound insulting, but really be innocuous. Pronounced "Koosh Tar", we English-speaking folk often harden up that final "D" in translation, but such is the fault of our weak command of a different language.

The latest great thing about my recent walk through a Couche Tard in La Belle Province, was finding a product called Sloche. Beyond the fact that this is a great name in itself, the logo is a scary strung-out junkie cat looking for a fix.

I can't help but think that the old Mac's cat was kicked out into the streets after the Couche Tard acquisition and is now wandering the back alleys, twitching and drooling, looking for a sugar fix of Sloche.