Fountains of Wayne

...is the name of a lawn-ornament store in Wayne, New Jersey. It bears the distinction, in my opinion, of being the most culturally significant lawn-ornament store in the world. The name, "Fountains of Wayne" has a ring to it, and it's not hard to imagine the lightly stoned conversation of a couple of aspiring young rockers driving past on Route 46: "Check it out, dude--Fountains of Wayne. That would make a great band name." Those guys would go on to record the somewhat corny, but nonetheless successful, one-hit wonder "Stacy's Mom" in 2003. I became familiar with them through their less-well-known "Red Dragon Tattoo," a significant leitmotif in Stephen King's americanized adaptation of the miniseries Kingdom Hospital, and catchy enough to inspire me to run it down on the web. It sat on my iPod for months ("Red Dragon Tattoo -- Fountains of Wayne 3:32") before I happened to notice, while watching episode 5 of season 3 of The Sopranos ("Another Toothpick"), that the lawn-ornament store at which Tony bumps into the traffic cop who's been run off the force after giving him a ticket is named "Fountains of Wayne." It's really a fairly significant location in Tony's story, because it's one of the few places where the mafioso we all hate to love shows emotions resembling what most of us would recognize as guilt or remorse. The name of the store is only briefly visible in an establishing shot, and would be lost on anyone who hadn't been primed to recognize its significance. I guess I'm sort of proud for catching this, honestly, and it really makes me want to visit the store and talk to the staff about its bizarre pop-cultural significance. To its credit, the store's website mentions neither the eponymous band nor the episode of the Sopranos which was filmed there.

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