Over the last few decades, the United States has become extremely politically correct where certain words or phrases have become taboo. Words which were once acceptable are now considered offensive and there are times when you just don’t know what to say for fear of offending anyone or everyone around you.
Now this trend has made its way into the mobile food industry via a contributing author from the Huffington Post. Yesterday Arthur Bovino, in the The Daily Meal section put together an op-ed piece which called for the banning of certain food trucks based solely on the fact that the owners of these trucks had the gall to name their mobile businesses with names which offended his tender heart.
At first glance, I thought this article was merely an avenue for the author to write about some punny named trucks around the country, (similar to our sex toy wholesale), but the more I read, the more I saw, the title of the article was not a cute jest, but his honest opinion.
Here are the trucks Mr. Bovino selected to call out, with his reasoning behind his choices. Apparently he was offended by either these trucks names, slogans or in some cases, the clothing the truck employees wear.
Hit n’ Run (Houston)
Think Hit n’ Run’s name is over the top? How about the Houston food truck’s slogan? “Killer Street Food.” Roadkill, hit and runs, automobile death, and mayhem — all wrapped up in six words and a 27-foot 1973 Winnebago Chieftan that the folks behind it affectionately call “Winnie.”
The same playful spirit can be found on the Winnie’s menu. There’s the “Killer Burger” with “coked up onions” and the “Drunken Squealer,” which sounds good: Shiner Bock-braised pulled pork, from-scratch cole slaw, sliced onions, pickles, and homemade habanero peach barbecue sauce on a “super soft onion bun.” But their fish dish wins the best-name prize — “We Found Nemo” — a fish taco with Nemo spice and Nemo sauce. “You may now throw rocks at other fish tacos,” their menu advises.
Shut Up And Eat (Portland, Ore.)
Taglines include, “big fat sandwiches with East-coast flair” and “belly-busting Italian comfort food” aren’t overly clever, but in the case of this Portland food cart, it’s the name that doesn’t mess around: Shut Up And Eat. Shut Up And Eat serves Italian comfort food including meatballs, roast pork, and lasagna.
The Greasy Wiener (Los Angeles)
Props to “best wieners on wheels.” You really have to tip your hat to any entrepreneur behind a food enterprise who can pull off the genitalia references and sexual innuendo that The Greasy Wiener seems to. With menu items like “The Package,” “Sack’a’ Nutz,” and “Box ‘A’ Curly’s” the slogan, “Loads of fun… in a bun!” will take on any contender when it comes to a lewd turn of phrase.
The Shrimp Pimp Truck (Los Angeles)
The Shrimp Pimp — it rhymes, there’s a sex reference, and a catchy slogan: “Shrimpin’ ain’t easy, but it sho is fun!” What more could you want? The Shrimp Pimp’s founder is Neil Macleod, a former New York City restaurateur whose bio notes experience working with Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Mario Batali.
The Pimp rolls through Los Angeles streets peddling menu items including: sashimi tuna tacos, shrimp and chips, po boys, “drunken” shrimp tacos, and Greek shrimp sandwiches. For all the true pimps out there, the truck’s website leaves fans with a last bit of innuendo, “And for those seeking a Happy Ending, the Pimp promises not to disappoint, with a full offering of Ho-Ho’s for dessert.”
Baby’s Badass Burgers (Los Angeles)
The name isn’t that outlandish, but the presentation takes a page out of the Fojol Bros. of Merlindia’s book: get-up. In the case of Baby’s Badass Burgers, Eater LA noted that means tiny booty shorts, tight tank tops, and high heels worn by the “burger babes,” who you can view here. But the truck, the creation of ex-New York restaurateur Erica Cohen and event planner Lori Barbera, does have a mysterious section named, “View the Goods,” and the logo features a scantily-clad girl holding up two burgers near where, well, where the strap of her bra is falling off.
Get Shaved (Los Angeles)
Look, it’s a husband and wife team, and the product is innocent enough — Hawaiian-style shave ice — so get your mind out of the gutter. Pat and Kristin Roskowick have been selling Hawaiian-style shave ice in Los Angeles since starting their Get Shaved truck in 2008. They’ve since opened a brick-and-mortar location in Northridge, Calif., and have a second planned for Torrance.
Besides, with Monkey Brains (strawberry and banana shave ice with sweetened condensed milk) and the Sour Puss (watermelon, lemon, live shave ice with sour spray) as the most outlandish menu items, there’s little else on the menu to give any indication that there are any double-entendres at work.
Truckin’ Good Food (Phoenix)
Truckin’ Good Food truck sells crêpes and frites in Phoenix. Where’d they come up with the the name? “We want to make people happy and excited for what we do. After the first glance, after the first words, ‘Hi, what can I get for ya’? And after the first bite, the reaction had to be… whoa! This is truckin’ good food!” The slogan is a variation: Holy Truckin’ Good.
Great Balls On Tires (Los Angeles)
Meatballs and gentialia references, people just can’t help themselves. Joseph Galluzzi tried it on America’s Next Great Restuarant with “Saucy Balls,” and in the an episode of The Next Food Network Star, one of the contestants pushed for “Balls on the Roll” as a food truck name. Out in the real world Great Balls On Tires (G-BOT, the truck’s site notes) rolls through the mean streets of Los Angeles. Founded by Clint Peralta and Michael Brombart, “G-BOT serves meatballs and other savory balls of food.” (They were then joined by former Comme Ça restaurant Executive Chef Michael David.)
The jokes continue: “Meat our balls,” “Ball Gogi,” “Ball Mi,” “Sweet Balls,” and more, all served two balls at a time. And as the site notes, “If you think you can make a Great Ball… stop by their truck and join the reBallution, one ball at a time!”
Me So Hungry (Los Angeles)
What is it about Los Angeles? Seems like several of these trucks originate in L.A. “Get ready for the bite of your life,” claims the Me So Hungry website. Me So Hungry. Me So Hungry. Hmm, what could that possibly refer to (NSFW and more NSFW). Still, after the name, the menu gets pretty tame. There are “Big Monsters” (burgers and sliders), “Lil’ Monsters” (sides), “Sweet Monsters” (desserts), and “Monster Sauces.” Drinks don’t get monsterfied — they’re just called “beverages.” What’s that all about?
The Dump Truck (Portland, Ore.)
Dumplings. Food truck. The Dump Truck. You get it, you get it. But there’s another joke there somewhere and it’s probably not something you want to affiliate with food. Just saying.
After reading through each of his examples, it is apparent that Mr. Bovino either has no sense of humor, or a lack of material to write about in regards to the mobile food industry.
Political correctness is a powerful form of censorship, but it has one basic flaw. If all views are equal, why do some who embrace this view feel the need to push this agenda as the “correct” one at the same time demonizing other views as “incorrect?”
It is one thing is to be educated, considerate, polite and have good manners, and another to be forced to self-censor and say things that are totally incorrect in order to comply with the arbitrary dictums of someone or some group’s agenda.
We will be keeping an eye on his future articles to see how quickly Mr. Bovino produces follow up articles calling for the banning of restaurants such as Hooters, Thai Tanic, and Genghis Cohen. It would be nice to see a retraction or apology piece from this author, however in today’s PC world; we won’t be holding our breath.