November 28, 2012

On principle, I support and love all puns, no matter how hideous. Stephen Leacock said that “the inveterate punster follows conversation as a shark follows a ship.” I am that shark.

Louis Untermeyer said that “Punning, like poetry, is something every person belittles and everyone attempts.” And true to form, right after beginning to denounce the Susan Rice pun deluge, I sallied forth into the field myself.


I was going to caption this, “I hope she can Rice above it all,” but then I realized that in the process of waging this battle I had become the very monster I set out to slay. (Richard Lipski/The Washington Post)

But the Rice puns are reaching the limit, even for me. Imagine if she is nominated, and the nomination goes through! How will we look her in the eye after the puns we’ve sanctioned?

We’ve had Chris Matthews complaining about “that frying of Rice.” We’ve had headlines about McCain throwing Rice in people’s faces. “Is Rice Cooked?” asked Maureen Dowd, who ought to know better.

Please, make it stop.

Here are just a few puns you should avoid at all costs: Rice-a-roni. I don’t even know how you’d work that into a headline, but if you do, I’m sure it would be disgusting and glutinous. Rice Work if You Can Get It. Rice of the Guardians. Once Bitten, Rice Shy. Can Susan Rice To The Occasion? or any variations thereof. Rice Cooker. Seasoned Rice. Unseasoned Rice. Sticky Rice. Chicken Soup With Rice. The Rice is Boiling Over! Could You Check On The Rice, Because I Have To Answer The Telephone. Good Rice. Put That Rice In The Cabinet. A Rice And Shine! Once, Rice, Three Times A Lady. For Your Rice Only. Terminator 2: Rice of the Machines. Anything about McCain wanting to grill Rice. (This is not only wrong, but very difficult from a culinary perspective.) The Sun Also Rices. Of Rice And Men. Rice Wide Shut. Rice-ky Business. Just no.

Surely we exhausted this with Condi? If we didn’t then, it’s exhausted now.

If you don’t have anything Rice to say, don’t say anything at all.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day.
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