(Jennings, OH) What’s in a name? If you’re local business owner Randolph Hitler, a name might spell the end of your antiquing career.
After a lackluster opening weekend, Hitler’s aptly named antique store Hitler’s Antiques seemed to face a foreboding and swift closure. Besides a small protest group whose hearts were not even in opposing an unfortunately named store, only two customers visited the shop: Hitler’s mother and a very disappointed Holocaust denier.
Said denier Ricky Swill expressed a visceral reaction to what the store had to offer. “It was just actual antiques, like old toys and furniture from a bygone era,” Swill puzzled. “It had nothing to do with the Holocaust.” When asked what a Holocaust denier would hope to find in a store called Hitler’s Antiques, Swill shrugged and replied, “I don’t know, like maybe some of the stuff in Hitler’s house. Kitchen dinette sets. Clocks.”
Describing the disappointing opening, shop owner Randolph Hitler expressed dismay: “This is the fourth city I’ve tried to open my shop in, and the fourth city where I’ve had to close after the opening weekend. I just don’t get it. I have no relation to that Hitler.”
Although Randolph has attempted to legally change his last name numerous times (and his first name just because), he has been rejected time and again for “clearly trying to hide something.”
Furthermore, though several of Hitler’s acquaintances have attempted to convince him that he could just call the store something “cute” like Past Time Antiques or something simple and factual like Antiques, Hitler says this would just feel like “letting them win” without ever saying who the vague pronoun reference refers to.
“I would definitely say Randolph has something of a pride complex,” childhood friend Maribela says. “When we were in class and other kids would make fun of Randolph for his name, he would get very angry and beat his fist on the desk, screaming, ‘No, no, no, no!’ It was a lot.”
Maribela does say that Randolph’s pride manifested in healthier ways over the course of their schooling. “After we watched the World War II documentary in history class, the one where they show Hitler giving speeches, Randolph quit doing that whole beating-his-fists-on-the-desk bit and got very serious about antiquing. He became very quiet, but if a conversation about antiques ever came up—always by him bringing them up—he would boast about what he had found in thrift stores over the weekend. ‘You don’t know mahogany until you’ve seen my chair collection,’ he would say. And we’d say, ‘You’re right. We literally have no idea about or interest in mahogany.’ And he would just smirk really smugly like he had just proved some point. It was still a lot, but definitely less ‘Adolfy.’”
Randolph Hitler says his pride days are beyond him, and he will push forward by applying to more antiques roadshows, though they have banned him indefinitely and asked that he submit his antique collection through parties with less intense names. He hopes to convince his friend Moses Stalin to become his antiquing partner and ride his name through the old cedar door with the family crest emblazoned across its arch.
This article was written by Ben Taylor, who only visits antique shops on the off chance he can find a spooky, preferably haunted, doll. Follow him for more on Twitter @therealbenshady.