Judging from the recent flurry of inactivity at the Smugglers’ Inn communal desk, it would seem we have reached another holiday season. A few years back, Smugs initiated a tradition of sending flowers to representatives of companies that we had solicited business from in the previous year. Specifically, those gatekeepers, marketing managers and creative directors who had NOT hired us. Our card thanked these entities for allowing us so much time to come up with brilliant, unexpected advertising for their competitors.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
That was then.
This is now.
The response below was typical.
“Ha! Thanks for the flowers. You made me laugh. I PROMISE you we’ll work together in 2011.”
We congratulated ourselves on our ingenious use of reverse psychology and waited for the work to come in.
We’re still waiting. At present, the number of $75 bouquets that we’ve converted to paying gigs stands at zero. As in zero.
Not surprisingly, this year, we won’t be sending flowers to those who attempt to resist the Smugglers’ Inn Juggernaut. Rather, we will be making charitable donations on their behalf. Don’t get excited, we’re still the same petty, selfish people we blame our parents for becoming. The donations were for five bucks each and the charity is the Red Crescent. The Red Crescent is a disaster relief agency just like the Red Cross, except its area of service is the Middle East. Palestine, Syria, Yemen—all those places. Israel? No, we don’t think so. Curiously, our State Department and Department of Homeland Security take a keen interest in anyone who gives money to the Red Crescent.
We won’t tell you if a donation was made in your name, but we do promise to wave to you should we encounter you in an airport as we run off to the next Smugglers’ Inn assignment. Being on a watch list really isn’t so bad, just allow an extra two hours when you go to the airport for the interrogation and cavity search.
Peace on Earth! Good will to all!
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Release the Kraken!
...shame on you. Fool us three times, we will go to your house and lie in wait with a canvas mailbag, a zip tie and Rommel, the 12 lb. Maine lobster (and an angry lobster he is). Followers of Smugglers’ Inn will be shocked to learn that there is no event called “Soupstock”, no Prop 192 and no Lagos Entertainment with access to stars like Shakira and Garth Brooks. Oh, and Latka from Taxi? Still dead. Better you should hear it from us than read about it in the Anoka County Shopper.
It appears that your favorite restaurant and ours has fallen prey to a gang of sophisticated crooks whose online signature indicates their headquarters is an internet café in Lagos, Nigeria. The response of our own Department of Homeland Security when we informed them of our suspicions that foreign cyber-terrorists were launching attacks on honest-to-Abe Lincoln American small businesses?
I do not know if this reference predates most of the readers of this blog, but in 276 episodes of Dragnet, Jack Webb never once responded to a concerned citizen with “duh”. If a citizen was hysterical, Joe Friday may have brought her down to earth with a respectful, “Just the facts, Ma’am,” but he would not try to make her feel stupid, even if she had insisted on sharing her hypothesis that her neighbor, whose arrow-riddled corpse was floating face down in his swimming pool, had committed suicide.
To add injury to insult, the souvenir Garth Brooks/Smugglers’ Inn cowboy hats that we had reprinted with “Latka from Taxi” came back from the silkscreeners misspelled. Who will want them now?
Luckily, as one door closes, another opens up. Sometimes, this is because you are standing on a trap door, but in our case, it appears karma has finally gotten off its dimpled behind and rewarded us for being good boys and girls.
I calculate that with a 34% food cost, we would need to sell something like 5,000 bowls of clam chowder to make up for our losses on Soupstock. The stuff is good, but heroin it ain't.
The future was looking bleak until we received an offer to participate in a new business venture that promised to pay us a return almost exactly equal to the amount we had spent on Soupstock. Here’s the really freaky part—this great offer comes from the same country, Nigeria. What are the odds? We can’t discuss details, but suffice it to say once we have established our money laundering-- pardon me, “currency trading” account at The Goodluck Jonathan Bank of Nigeria, we won’t be terribly concerned about a few ruined cowboy hats.
All we really need is a few thousand to get the ball rolling. Anybody out there need some award-worthy Smugglers’ Inn brand mojo? The holidays are coming up; we also do catering. Please think about it. Just please don’t think too long, as after 14 days, this incredible offer will go to another lucky business with a reputation for honesty and the same number of lucky letters in its name.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
by Lindsay Cheltenham-Pierce, society reporter, Anoka County Shopper
“I mean, like, we’d still love to hear someone SING it, but after spending all that money just to get blown off by these big stars, we had to set our sights a little lower. Lagos (Lagos Entertainment, the promoters of the event) suggested Latka. The dude that played Latka, Andy Kaufman, does this spoken word stuff. I don’t really understand it. He’s a performance artist. I guess for the last 26 years, he’s been pretending to be dead, so there should be massive interest.”
When asked about their disappointing experiences with Mr. Brooks and Ms. Shakira, Smugglers’ Inn was sanguine.
“This is a great day for Smugglers’ Inn and a great day for fans of Taxi,” said a spokesman for the restaurant and sometimes ad agency who spoke with me earlier in the week. The occasion was the announcement that yet another celebrity would be performing “The Ballad of Smugglers’ Inn” during the upcoming charity event known as Soupstock. Previous assertions by Smugglers’ Inn that Shakira or Garth Brooks would be doing those
honors have proven false.
“We have a saying we have the service industry: people suck. You spend thousands of dollars just getting to these stars. Their handlers just lead you on and you write them checks and then, nothing happens. Thank god, the people at Lagos are going to reimburse us for those expenses, plus the cost of 400 Shakira sings Smugglers’ Inn T-shirts and whatever we spent on those felt cowboy hats with “Garth Brooks and Smugglers Inn”. It’s all good. Except for the part about having to wait to get paid; that isn’t good.”
A date for the Soupstock, which seeks to raise money to help restaurants and hotels that have paid out more than $1,000 in fines after hiring undocumented workers, still has not been set. Calls to the promoters were not returned.
As for Andy Kaufman being alive, rumors to that effect have circulated since the comic’s death was announced in 1984. Several internet sites are dedicated to the theory that the famous hoaxer re-emerged 20 years later with a new identity—Lady Gaga.
Monday, November 7, 2011
“We’re pinching ourselves, I mean, holy sand dabs—Garth Brooks!” said an obviously star-struck Smugglers’ Inn representative who had donned a black hat for the announcement. Brooks, the second-highest grossing solo act of all time after Elvis Presley, reportedly was “touched right here” when he had read the never-recorded lyrics, which recount the story of a struggling business’ fortuitous transition from restaurant to restaurant/ad agency, leaving out the part about the hepatitis scare in 1989 from which this restaurant never fully recovered.
Continued the spokesman, “Garth Brooks is the quintessential American and Prop 291, which is all about American freedom, is right up his alley. Frankly, I never liked what’s-her-name’s music. (A reference to Shakira whom, it had been previously reported here, had been slated to sing the Smugglers’ Inn Theme song.) She’s from Colombia, not the District of--the Colombia by Chile and Brazil. Those people have no conception of time; I think its something in their genes. Anyway, she had conflict. The guys at Lagos were P-O’ed. Well, they sure made it right. Yee-ha! Garth Brooks.”
“Lagos” is Lagos Star Entertainment, the promoters of the concert event known as “Soupstock”, which seeks to raise lobbying money to promote measures granting fast track status to undocumented kitchen workers. Lagos is reportedly in “final negotiation” with the country superstar.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
by Lindsay Cheltenham-Pierce, society reporter, Anoka County Shopper
Smugglers’ Inn is in talks with international superstar, Shakira (no last name), to perform its company theme song during an upcoming charity event. The multi-venue concert, known as “Soupstock”, seeks to raise awareness for Prop 33, which would confer automatic guest worker status to any restaurant or hotel worker on the job more than six months and, secondarily, to compensate those businesses which have negatively impacted by stepped-up enforcement of laws that levy heavy fines on employers of undocumented immigrants.
“We’re delighted that Shakira will be the first artist to perform our theme song,” said a Smugglers’ Inn spokesman, who met with me in the office of the restaurant and occasional ad agency. “This woman is amazing, she sings, she dances, she acts—she’s the Sammy Davis, Jr. of South America.” Added one obviously excited young man in a hairnet who was chopping vegetables, ” Shakira es numero uno. ¡Mira! Puse su nombre en mi brazo!"
An agreement, under which participating restaurant and hotel owners will underwrite the concert in exchange for merchandising rights and a percentage of income from download revenues, was negotiated by Lagos Star Entertainment, LLC.
Friday, August 5, 2011
With hot weather, the vendors of ice cream and hot dogs do brisk trade. Not so, we dispensers of clam chowder. Thus, with our core business in the doldrums, Smugglers’ Inn was pleased to learn that our advertising sideline was about to receive yet another citation for bravery. Seems our campaign for Tours Abroad China had been selected to appear in the upcoming issue of Luerzer’s Archive, a glossy showcase of outstanding advertising and design from around the world. It’s Smug’s fourth appearance in the publication.
Since our light clam chowder had not been the traffic builder we’d hoped for, we wished to make the most of the Archive score. Our first thought was to patent “Four-peat”, but it turns out that someone already owns it. (Too bad, it would have looked stunning on a lobster bib.) We then contacted our two favorite interviewers, NPR’s Terri Gross and James Lipton of “Inside the Actors’ Studio”, to invite them to come to Blaine, Minnesota and ask us how we pulled off this feat while serving Mai Tai’s and Surf ‘n Turf to folks who turn their baseball caps backwards when they dine.
They declined. Or their assistants did. Or maybe it was computers. The important thing is, WE GOT A RESPONSE. Within a matter of days, two rejection letters had arrived for us, printed on letterhead on heavy stock. These letters, plus an 8x10 of James Lipton with hand on chin, seemingly caught in the act, as it were, of forming his next penetrating question, are holy relics that we can leave our heirs. We are grateful for them.
But we gotta eat.
If Lipton and Gross were out, who was next on the interlocutor A-list? Larry King? Retired. Oprah? Dream on. Piers Morgan? Who? David Frost? Dead…or was he?
“Daveed Frost? No dead--viva. Alive!”
Miguel, the night chef, had wandered into the office just in time to overhear us say, “David Frost”. Known around Smugs as a man of few words in English, Miguel was now jabbering like a monkey, claiming that David Frost was not only alive, but in his locker. Had an employee like our dishwasher, Old Jorge, made these statements, we may have laughed it off, but Miguel was known as a down-to-earth family man who did not use crystal meth. Seeing our confusion, Miguel ran out and returned a minute later, waving a publication printed on orange newsprint. No, it was not the Financial Times.
“El Mirador” was a Spanish language tabloid dedicated almost entirely to Latin soap stars, pets in clothes, appearances of the Holy Virgin and wrestling. Miguel opened it up and pointed to a picture of David Frost looking out through a window cut into a steely cylinder. I say, “looking out”, but Mr. Frosts eyes were shut and his face wore an expression of Buddha-like calm, this despite the icicles clinging to his eyebrows.
“Frio!” Miguel said by way of an explanation. He then rubbed his arms and made a “B-r-r-r-r!” sound to get the point across.
Like Walt Disney and Ted Williams before him, it seemed David Frost had taken the precaution of having himself cryogenically frozen in the event that medical science someday advances to the point where it can re-animate stiffs and cure whatever conditions caused their deaths in the first place. This isn’t news in itself; while officially alive, rumors that Sir David (or his head) was on ice had been circulating since 2009. What was newsworthy was that he was talking.
“He’s frozen, but he talks?”
Miguel explained, as best he could, that Frost is speaking through a medium—a woman who, while working as a housekeeper at the Sherry Netherland hotel, once cleaned Mr. Frost’s room. The article had a small picture of her.
“Si! Queen Lllyana. Ella es muy famousa psychic amiga. From Jamaiica, mon.”
Miguel drew out “Ja-mai-ca” like someone from that island nation might, provided they were a little Spanish. Our silent cook was really coming out of his shell. It was unnerving.
“Well, it’s simple then,” I said. “We just contact her. She places her hands on the freezer door, makes a few spooky noises and “bingo!” we’re speaking with the man who made Nixon cry. Sounds pretty straightforward. Too bad we don’t have Queen Latifa’s phone number. Otherwise, I’d say it was a plan.”
“Queen Illyana!” Miguel corrected. He then flipped to the back of El Mirador where the same picture of the crowned medium appeared again, this time taking up a quarter of the orange page.
It was an ad for her psychic hotline. Not only was it the largest in El Mirador, it was the only one entirely in English; seems Queen Illyana no habla Espanol. The ad listed all her specialties. While I was personally intrigued by “Find lost money!” the Queen’s claims that she could “Speak to the dear deported! [sic]” probably meant that she could speak to the departed and this was what would need to happen if Smugglers’ Inn was ever to become Frost’s 7,003rd interview.
We called. Just because Miguel was watching.
“Welcome to Queen Illyana’s psychic hotline…” boomed an impossibly Caribbean voice.
“Queen Illyana, we have kind of a weird request…”
“…The Queen is busy helping others at the moment,” the recording continued. “Please stay on de line and your call will be answered.”
We waited. We waited and wondered if we were being billed $4.95 a minute for the privilege. After perhaps two minutes, a somewhat less-booming voice came on the line and we were talking to the world-renowned psychic, who did not appreciate being on speaker.
“You callin’ me from a hole in de ground somewhere? The Queen don’t get people outta wells. There’s 911 for dat.”
When Queen Illyana said it, it was funny. Miguel beamed; his psychic had won us over in a couple of sentences.
“We need to speak with David Frost,” I said. “Would you be able to contact him for us?”
“For what you got to talk to dat man for?”
I thought that, for a psychic, Queen Illyana asked a lot of questions. I explained to her that we wanted Mr. Frost to interview us. While she hadn’t heard of Archive magazine, she claimed to be vaguely familiar with Smugglers’ Inn. It’s the clam chowder. It is, as I’ve been telling you all along, world famous.
“Dis ting gonna take some time. It’s eight in the mornin’ dere. Stay by de phone; don’t be runnin’ to de bath-room.”
With that, Queen Illyana put us on hold. My immediate thought was that it was curious that there should be time in the spirit world. Then I realized The Queen must have been referring to the cryogenic storage facility where Mr. Frost’s corporeal body resides. I pictured someone tapping on the glass of his liquid nitrogen-cooled coffin and asking Sir if he was taking calls.
It seemed like we were on hold forever. Miguel eventually remembered the form he had entered the office to retrieve and left to finish doing inventory on the meat locker. I amused myself Googling David Frost on my iPhone. Everytime I’d hit an entry, I’d lose my lone bar. “AT&T; stay disconnected.”
After what seemed like an age, the speakerphone crackled to life and we were back with Queen Illyana.
“Well, it took a bit ‘o doin’, but The Queen has her ways. You dere? Someone let you outta dat well?”
“We’re here! You found David Frost? He’s there with you?”
“David Frost give me a message to give to you.”
This was not what we wanted to hear.
“Whoa, whoa! We were expecting to be interviewed by David Frost. Through, you, of course.”
“Mr. Frost producer say he gotta decline on account-a he got previous commitments and that he be busy workin’ on another autobiography. He wishes The Smuggler Inns every success in findin’ another ven-ue. I also got dis e-mail address, so you can request a picture of David Frost with former New York City Mayor Ed Koch. Sound like someone ordered two thousand 'a dem in 1979, and dey tryin’ to use ‘em up.”
“A free picture? Do you mean to tell us that David Frost is alive after all and that you were just stringing us along for almost forty minutes and we’re getting a free picture?
“No! I’m not sayin’ dat.”
“Well, OK then…”
“You gotta pay de shippin’ ‘n handlin’.”
The important to remember is, WE GOT A RESPONSE. And another campaign in Archive.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
by James J. Grennel,
Anoka County Shopper
Special Summer Safety edition
Early Wednesday morning, Blaine Police responded to a complaint of a boisterous, after-hours party at Smugglers’ Inn, a restaurant and bar adjacent to the Northtown Shopping Center complex. At approximately 2. a.m., patrolwoman Corrine Chessman arrived at the establishment and reported finding the front door propped open, in violation of a city ordinance specifying that all establishments serving liquor remain closed with their doors locked from 1:00 AM until 6 AM. Chessman entered and followed the sounds of loud voices and music to the kitchen area, whereupon she encountered “eight or nine” employees of the bar/restaurant. The employees were gathered around a man who was, according to Officer Chessman, ”doing back-flips one after another like one of those of wind-up toy dogs you used to be able to get at Spencer Gifts. Before they closed, I mean.” Because alcohol was present and it was not immediately clear that everyone was of legal age, patrolwoman Chessman started asking for I.D.’s. At this point, the individual who had been doing the back flips hurled a foul-smelling substance in Officer Chessman's face and fled. Chessman fears the substance was human waste. “I remember seeing that in “Lock-up:Raw” and thinking, “What kind of animal would throw his own feces?” This is clearly an individual who’s done hard time. I suspect he was afraid of being written up for a parole violation--he took off like a shot.” The officer drove herself to the emergency Ward of Coon Rapids General Hospital, where antibiotics and anti-viral drugs were administered.
Smugglers’ Inn has not been able to provide information as to the identity of the officer’s assailant, who is described as short, with a rangy build and bright red hair. The management maintains that the individual in question was not an employee, but just “some joker” who had been observed drinking alone in the bar. They offered no explanation as to why this person was in an area of the restaurant off-limits to customers or how he came to be dressed in the checked pants and white shirt of a kitchen worker. “Clearly, we are disappointed with the judgement our employees showed here,” explained a spokesman for the restaurant and sometimes ad agency. “They know the cops come whenever anyone farts.”
Smugglers’ Inn reported that they wished to send flowers to officer Chessman, who, at the time of this writing, was at home recovering after a bout of migraines. Chessman, a Gulf War veteran, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Monday, May 23, 2011
Happiness has a name, and that name is Pongo! Pongo, Pongo, Pongo! I’m sorry, but I can’t stop saying, “Pongo!” Since coming to work for Smugglers' Inn, this amazing immigrant from Sumatra has transformed our prep/dishwashing area from a house of pain into a stage for the most charismatic performer in the world--Pongo!
Certainly, we regret the departure of Pongo’s predecessor, Old Jorge, who, in the weeks and months he was our dish man/prep cook, had become a member of our family. A shambling, alcoholic member of our family who could not be trusted around money, but a family member just the same. Old Jorge took over responsibility for washing dishes, stocking our salad bar and making sauces and desserts from his nephew, Just Jorge, after the latter made the unwise decision to run from the Spring Lake Park Police Department in a muffler-less Dodge Neon during the course of a routine traffic stop. Old Jorge showed up on our doorstep the following day, explaining that his nephew had leased him his dishwashing post while he was away. We didn’t tell old Jorge that you can’t sublet jobs like they were New York apartments; the fact was, we had some crusty pots and dishes piling up that none of us was about to clean. Anyway, how bad could a relative of our hardest-working employee to date be?
Plenty bad, as it turns out. A cardinal rule in restaurants is, you never fire the dishwasher, but it was clear from the get-go that this grinning, moon-walking yuckster would be unable to meet the high bar set by his nephew. One ugly puking incident that resulted in the loss of 12 gallons of valuable clam chowder made it clear that even minimum wage is too much to pay some help.
Enter WorkForceUSA.com and Pongo. Pongo, Pongo, Pongo! This website connects employers with new Americans who are hungry to establish themselves in this great land of opportunity. In essence, you pay $20 to post your opening on WorkForce and workers bid on it. The worker who pits in the lowest bid gets the job. It’s the invisible hand of the marketplace at work.
We admit, when Pongo (they don’t use last names in Pongo’s homeland), walked in, we were were apprehensive. It’s not that we are prejudiced (oh, no!). We just had never hired any Sumatrans before. Mexicans, Greeks, Pakistanis, Serbs, Hondurans, Ecuadorians, Trinidadians and Somalis, sure, but never someone from this tiny island nation. Pongo doesn’t exactly make a great first impression, it must be said. His hair, though always clean and neatly groomed, is the color of Orange Crush and seems to cover every inch of him but his face and palms. His red-brown eyes are exceedingly close together, almost giving the illusion that the sides of his face had sprouted handles. Pongo is many things, but George Clooney he is not.
Pongo bounced nervously in his chair throughout the screening of the mandatory sexual harassment DVD and threw his pencil when we did not have a W2 form in Sumatra-ese. I wasn’t holding out much hope when we put him in a uniform (XS pants, XXL shirt) and pointed him to what would be his work station. As soon as he saw the teetering pile of blackened pans and scorched chowder pots, he attacked; there’s no other word for it.
With his long arms flailing, Pongo performed his own brand of triage on the unclean utensils, loading the merely greasy onto racks and sending them through the Hobart while simultaneously filling a sink with water for soaking the most charred items. Before the dishes had come out the other side, Pongo had two big, steel fry pans gleaming, (much to the dismay of our cook, who maintained that his blackened utensils “were just getting good”.)
I didn’t need to hover; I had seen enough to know that Pongo was going to be better than Old Jorge and probably his nephew, too. I left to go write up our first social media marketing plan for our advertising sideline. When I checked back in two hours to tell Pongo he could take a break, all pots, pans, silverware and cutlery had been cleaned and put away. Trays of stemware and mousse glasses, set on trays and stacked with military precision, sparkled from a high shelf. Pongo himself was on a short safety ladder, scrubbing a corner by the dish sprayer. The area where the walls came together was so splattered with greasy dish water and carbon particles that it called forth images of a bloody crime scene.
“Pongo” I said, “you are AWESOME.”
At first, I didn’t think he heard me. Then, he stopped scrubbing and, without so much as turning around, executed a perfect back flip. The ladder never even shook.
I went straight to my office and fanned WorkForceUSA. Then I posted a job opening for a busboy to replace one Adolfo “Spanish” Nunez. When you can find an immigrant who’ll do backflips for $3.28 an hour, there’s no point in employing one who asks for more days, then calls in sick every time Real Madrid gets in a tournament. No, I’ve seen the face of the new Smugglers’ Inn work force. That face, rendered on the back of a child’s placemat by Cat, our resident art student and seating hostess extraordinaire, looks like this:
“Pongo No.1”, Catherine Murphy, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
“The Triumph of Spring”
There’s nothing like a weather joke. Especially if you’re it. Until Smugglers’ Inn Rimini becomes a reality, Smug’s zone of influence extends from the water tower in Blaine all the way to the cement Polar Bear at Polar Chev in N. St. Paul. (Stunning—and they say the Midwest doesn’t have great art.) We have, count ‘em, one location in Minneapolis and today, on this fifth day of spring, freezing rain has been followed by five inches of new snow, making driving to the store for a loaf of overpriced Artisan bread an act of bravery or faith, depending on whether you or a Somali cabbie does the steering.
“Yes, but the snow is so pretty!”
Fie upon you, ignorant stranger! Know you not that snow kills more people each year than sharks? Shoveling snow, especially this spring cement with its added weight of accumulated dog turds and sodden cigarette butts, is the leading cause of heart attacks among Lutheran males of a certain age. Look it up. “Snow is pretty?” Are the ambulances that cart the fallen to Minnesota’s 24 cardiac centers pretty? To you, maybe. Their flashing lights probably remind you of Christmas.
Clearly, there’s some cabin fever at work here. Before we start looking at each other and imagining steaming hams and turkey legs like in some Tex Avery cartoon, we ask your help in finding something for the staff at Smugglers’ Inn to do. And, hopefully, someplace else to do it.
To that end, we’ve published a list of businesses that, we’re convinced, need but a coy smile from us before they call, begging to employ the creative geniuses who thought of turning a theme restaurant into an advertising boutique. In Blaine. If you don’t see yourself on the list, fear not. New York and Chicago are temperate to us and even Canada can boast great bodies of water in liquid form. Dentsu Siberia? We may need to get back to you.
AAC Saatchi & Saatchi, Bermuda
Ogilvy & Mather Hawaii, Honolulu
Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Miami
Grey Global, San Antonio
Prestige Marketing, Barbados
The Jupiter Drawing Room, Cape Town
Zimmerman and Partners, Fort Lauderdale
The Harris Agency, Honolulu
Strascina Strascina Garcia, Albuquerque
The Richards Group, Dallas
Kessels Kramer, Amsterdam
Saatchi & Saatchi, Sydney
3 Advertising, Albuquerque
Draft FCB, Cape Town
Clemenger BBDO, Melbourne
The Campaign Palace, Melbourne
OgilvyOne Worldwide, San Antonio
Saatchi & Saatchi, Aukland
M&C Saatchi, Australia
The French Laundry, Yountville (we cook)
Ogilvy & Mather, Barbados
Leo Burnett, Bangkok
Lowe Bull, Cape Town
Red Cell, Darlinghurst
Publicis Lowe, Sydney
Tiempo BBDO, Barcelona
DCS Comunicacoes, Porto Alegre (no idea, but it sounds warm)