Monday, 3 March 2014

Spunkmeyer Paper Bag

In taking me ol’ dad for a routine appointment, we paid an early morning visit to the hospital restaurant. Well, it adds a dash of spite to get a pre- emptive dose of coronary artery furring fry up before you see the heart consultant. But bugger me, walking through the eclectic lustre of cafeteria plastic & chrome, was an ostensibly innocent- looking pile of paper bags, which upon closer scrutiny bore the name “Spunkmeyer” on them. I nearly choked. 

Presuming, correctly as it happens, it to be of American origin, I imagined a board room somewhere very distant to here, and a red faced Texan looking at charts and spreadsheets, brusquely barking orders at quivering anaemic accountants saying he “wanted” the UK hospital market. The accountants look at each other, too afraid to speak, and in a supreme act of cultural insensitivity and ignorance, Spunkmeyer ends up splattering the walls of cafeteria up and down the NHS.

Actually, the truth is even worse! Chairman and inventor of the industrialised cookie dough manufacture process, Kenneth Rawlings, asked his 12 year old daughter what she thought the company should be called. I wonder what he would have said if she said “oohh shit butty please daddy.” It might as well be called Shit Butty, much good that dredgeworthy colon- clogging wallpaper paste goop does for you, crammed as it is with diabetes inducing high corn fructose syrup and vitamin annihilating trans fats. Absolute shit.  Give me a cooked breakfast any day.

For the word “spunk” in English, has a totally different additional meaning from that in the USA. To Americans,  the word simply means “pluck, courage, verve”, or in Australia, “a good looking fellow”. But as the etymology of the word derives from ancient Irish sponcc meaning of “poor wood/ faggots/ junk wood which reluctantly provides a spark” it also has derived into a semi- pejorative, (with shared roots in “punk”) meaning seminal fluid in English, which was first recorded in print in 1886. If you ask me, that’s long enough to realise that its use in selling food might be a faux pas. Unless you wanted to sell your cookies with cream.

By South Utsire

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