For over 10 years I worked for a design firm in Manhattan. I don’t remember how it started, but at some point someone in the office discovered an Indian takeout place, and as you do you ask if anyone else wants to get food along with you, and before too long there were seven or eight people getting Indian every week. (It was almost always Thursday. Not sure how it ended up that way.) Being both organized and efficient, I took it upon myself to start emailing coworkers to ask if they wanted to get in on Indian food.
And since I dislike repeating myself and I never like to bore people, I would make the subject line of my email a pun.
- Currying favor
- Don’t be sari, order Indian food!
- Tikka for two (or ten)
- Guys and Dals
- A rolling stone gathers no sa-moss-a
- Curryer Service
Sometimes I’d even add a joke in the body of the email to continue the pun.
Vindalucy in the Sky With Diamonds
Picture yourself on a naan on the Ganges
With rocking-horse Tikka and looking-glass Dal
Suddenly someone is there with some curry:
Indian food, in or out, pal?
After a good year or so of Indian Food Thursday, enough other four-star dives opened up in the neighborhood that we felt comfortable switching it up. First came a Mexican place run by Asians, so the food had a distinct “Chinese food” flavor and the menu was riddled with spelling errors. We called this place Typo Tortilla:
- Mexican you do takeout for lunch?
- Typo Bell: Make the Runs for teh Bordre
- Tortilla My Dreams
- Salsa of One, Half Adobo of Another
- When Jalapeño Met Salsa
- Way Too Chili to Go Out
Related to that was Chipotle. I tended to focus on a lot of guacamole puns:
- Good Golly Miss Guacamole!
- Hit the Road, Guac
- A Chipotle Off the Old Block
- I Don’t Want to Guac Without You
- Taco Through the Tulips With Me
- It’s Still Guacamol’ to Me
…the last of which merited an entire song parody:
What’sa matter with the taco I’m eatin?
Can’tcha tell that the shell is stale?
Should I join up with the Chi-potle meetin?
Are ya gonna lunch or tell us a tale?
Don’tcha know about the new franchise, honey,
All ya need’s the fax sheet and to turn in your money
It’s the take-out, no-doubt, don’t pout, in or out?
It’s Still Guacamol’ to Me.
(with apologies to Billy Joel)
Then there was a place which just did dumplings:
- Forrest Dumpling
- She Says “Dumpling!” I Say “How Thai?”
- Priming the Dumpling
And a pita/hummus/Mediterranean joint:
- The Pita Patter of Little Feet
- Pita Pita Hummus Eata
- Ba-ba-ba, Babaganoush
- Thursday’s Child is Falafel of Grace
Everyone loved Thai food:
- Thai Me Up, Thai Me Down
- Long Thai No See!
- No thai like the present
- Thai-ing the Knot
- Thaime and Thaide Wait For No One
- A Soy Named Sushi
- Roll ’em Up, Head ’em Out, Raw Fish
- Soba So Good
- The Sashimi-shimi-shake
- Maki the Knife
There was one place which just served macaroni and cheese. It was very expensive, but the cheeses were wide-ranging, and pretty tasty. Plus there are so many opportunities for cheese jokes:
- You Cheddar Shop Around
- Brie My Baby
- I Can’t Believe it’s not Cheddar
- Cheese Always a Woman To Me
- Where Have You Gone, Joe Formaggio
That one merited a full song:
Where Have You Gone, Joe Formaggio
A city turns its lonely plates to you, woo woo woo!
What’s that you say, Mrs. Mascarpone
Provolone has left and gone away
Hey hey hey, hey hey hey
(look, I was trying to avoid the “Cheesus loves you more than you will know” line.)
And a place which sold “European-style hot dogs,” or “haüte dogs,” as they liked to style them, with various kinds of “frites”:
- Who Let the Hot Dogs Out?
- Frankfurterly, my dear, I do give a damn
- You Ain’t Nothin’ But a Haüte Dog
- The Hotdog Days of Summer
- If You Love Someone, Set Them Frites
Being anal-rententive, I kept a spreadsheet of my puns so I wouldn’t repeat myself. By the time I left, I had well over 250 terrible food-related puns. Which I can now share with you on a regular basis.