Monday, April 18, 2011

The Problem With Puns

Boat people are a jolly folk.  Maybe it comes of the internal resilience needed to cope with each new day and the things that will surely break, but cruisers as a whole have a ready smile, a ready hand, and are never in a hurry.  They like to joke and have a chat.  Sadly, this admirable attitude turns dark and malevolent when it comes to cruisers naming their boats.  I refer, of course, to the despicable art of punning.

I’ll be frank.  I hate puns.  Every pun I see is a small stab in my eye, a written assault.  I resent it.  And nowhere is punny humour more prevalent than in the nautical world.  So many boat names, so many puns.  So many eye-stabbing attempts at hilarity.

We started collecting boat puns sometime in the Chesapeake.  Solely to vent my frustration, I present you with a short list of boats we’ve seen.

The Seas
Seas The Moment – I’m going to seize you by the ear and make you change your boat name.
Sea Senor – a Spanish/English joke!  Brilliant!
Sea-D – hmmm, ambiguous.  Were they going for CD, or seedy?  Or both; a down-and-out former rocker, perhaps?
Sea Vous Play – Ahhh!  My head just exploded!  A ménage a trois of please, the sea and playtime.  The french language police are coming for you, my friend, and, I assure you, they do not joke around.
Sea Me – hear me: The Who are coming for you, and those guys are even scarier than the French.

Nautical knots
Nauti Time – and its close cousin...
Knotty Time – “naughty” puns are almost as popular as “sea”s.  At least these boats didn’t add an illustration.  Shudder.
Nauti Girl – my notes indicate we saw this on two boats, and perhaps a third.  That hurts – a bad pun that isn’t even original.
Why Knot! – I could tell you why not.

Gone Fishin’
Rebait$ - isn’t it nice to know it’s all about the money?
Reel Deal – I somehow doubt the veracity of this claim.
Reel Lies – some refreshing honesty.  Prepare to doubt this man’s tales of fish size, or even the fact he went fishing at all.
Fin and Tonic – At least this one I can relate to.
Chasing Tail – ewww.  Run, ladies, run.
Reel Lucky – and you’re really lucky I can’t reach you to give you a smack.  Punning and an adjective/adverb error?  Not cool.

Visual Aids
Reel Jule; picture of a diamond – Julia/Jules/Julio/whoever you are, you didn’t need the jewel.  We got it.  Really.
Litigator; picture of an alligator holding a briefcase – Oh.  Ohhhh!  You’re not just a lawyer!  You’re in Florida, so you’re an alligator, too!  LitiGATOR, alliGATOR!  I get it!  Aha ha!
Time Flys; picture of a fishing lure – not Flies.  Not even Time to Fly, which I would have accepted.  This is just a mess.

Workin’ overtime
No Patients – as with our alligator litigator, someone who just can’t leave his job behind.
Ads Up – I’m going to be generous and call this someone in advertising.  Or maybe he just couldn’t be bothered to pay for that second “d”.
Chute Me II – this one was on a parasailing boat.  What hurts me the most is that they found the name funny enough to name a second boat “Chute Me”.

Spelling Fail
My Bouys – oh, help.  I envision a doting mother bestowing this boat on her boys.  Too bad the word is actually spelled “buoy” (boo-ee).  Oh, mom!  You were so close to a perfect pun!

General Suck
Sol Mates – boy, we’ve got the language pun wired on this list!
Aquadesiac – you know, I was embarrassed just to read this one.

“Purr”fect Too – quotes included.  Thanks for the help, guys; we never would have figured it out without them.  And what is with the "too"?  If you are also perfect, then what else are you referring to?  And if you meant "two", then you have just landed on my list of people to smack.
(My apologies – I should have written down more cat puns in Maryland, where they were prevalent.  Suffice it to say, it seems to be a rule that Catamarans, if they are to pun, must use a feline-related pun, preferably with paw prints added.)

Do you feel better?  I feel better.  Now that we are in Mexico, we aren’t seeing as many punned boats.  Maybe they have to stay in the US and Bahamas by law.  I can’t decipher all of the Spanish names, but they mostly seem to be called “Albatros” anyway.  My lack of language skills has a silver lining - if I can’t read it, it can’t destroy my brain, right?  .

1 comment:

Tambo said...

Just a word about the 'My Buoys' boat name. Although they may have got the spelling wrong, in England we pronounce the word 'buoy' as boy, not boo-ee. So it would have worked.

Still a shocking pun though, I agree!