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May 17 2006

Pink (again)

pink taco

I can be silent no longer on the subject of this Pink Taco business. Phil, my secretary, has just handed in his resignation over the volume of emails we’ve gotten about it.

If you’re just joining us, “pink taco” seems to be a euphemism for “vulva.” I had never heard of it before, but the mayor of Scottsdale, who apparently looks at more porn than I do, has. She is completely offended that a restaurant of that name wants to set up shop in her town, which, as everybody knows, is an oasis of gentility and good taste the like of which Western civilization has never known.

The mayor of Scottsdale is a moron. As dysphemisms for vulva go, “pink taco” is pretty harmless. Pink is nice (unless it’s on a cancer teddy bear), and “taco” is a word with which I associate nothing but the happiest of times, so overall it beats the heck out of “gash” and “hatchet wound,” and (possibly my least favorite just because it’s so NASCAR), “cooter.”

I sense that the patriarchy-blaming public is looking for me to loose a torrent of ill-humored rhetoric over this. But I cannot. I have my priorities. I don’t care if a taco stand calls itself the Dripping Hot Meat Wallet; if the tacos are any good, I’m there.

63 comments

  1. bitchphd

    The Pink Taco isn’t awful, but I’ve eaten better food.

    My question is, is there a Hooter’s in Scottsdale?

  2. Ellasgrannie

    My answer to Hooters, Peckers. They would probably specialize in hot dogs.

  3. Sara

    There used to (and may still) be a very enjoyable sushi restaurant in Santa Cruz, CA, named Pink Godzilla. I wonder if that was secretly a euphemism for something, too? One of my favorite dining companions once remarked that the maki there were so fat she needed a speculum to get slices of them into her mouth, but I didn’t think it was related at the time.

  4. Blume

    Thanks, Twisty, for this the Helmut Newtonization of a taco. If anything would cause me to lose my appetite, it would be him.

  5. Lauren

    At least it isn’t called the Pink Cooz.

  6. Whitters

    This is ridiculous. Are they going to boycott the Cheesecake Factory next? Claim that it refers to sexy pinups? And what about Sugar Daddy’s restaurant–isn’t the concept of a “sugar daddy” offensive? For god’s sake, there’s a restaurant/bar in Scottsdale called the Salty Senorita.

    Personally, I find the name “Schlotzky’s Deli” to be much worse-sounding than “Pink Taco.” Although, to be fair, I would totally eat at a restaurant named “Cooters.”

  7. Puffin

    Isn’t there a seafood restaurant in Scottsdale called The Bearded Clam?

  8. bitchphd

    No, to be fair, the Pink Taco really *is* a euphemism for pussy. And the waitresses there all wear short-shorts with the words “Pink Taco” emblazoned across their ass. It’s pretty hard to ignore that that is, indeed, what the restaurant’s owners mean by the name.

  9. Amber

    “This is ridiculous. Are they going to boycott the Cheesecake Factory next? Claim that it refers to sexy pinups?”

    Maybe I’m totally ignorant but what does cheesecake have to do with sexy pinups? I missed that memo.

  10. Vibrating Liz

    (Phil: fax me your resume asap!)

  11. dr_igloo

    Okay, out of curiousity, I went to the website of the Pink Taco restaurant in Las Vegas, was guided by some mysterious hand to click on the virtual tour, and when looking around the room there is a blackboard that says “Real Men Eat Pink Tacos.” I shit you not. http://www.hardrockhotel.com/virtual/pinktaco.html if you don’t believe me.

  12. E.

    Where oh where did you get that photograph? And what the hell is it?

    There is actually a long tradition of taco restaurants naming themselves after parts of female anatomy – witness “ChiChis” (not that I would recommend their tacos to anyone).

  13. Joanna

    You beat me to it, Dr B. Scottsdale doesn’t have a Hooters, but Phoenix has more than one. And did you know that you can get a Hooters credit card? I shit you not.
    If you Google-Image pink taco (NSFW) you get mostly porn, but several images of the restuarant sign. It’s a Hard Rock Cafe spinoff that is set to open in LA and Scottsdale.

  14. bitchphd

    Here’s my question. Why is it that the Pink Taco doesn’t really bother me, but Hooter’s really truly does? Is it just a class identity thing (Hooters=middle, Pink Taco=middle wanna-be-alternative)? Is it just b/c I kinda like Vegas? Is it a coherence and integrity thing (the Pink Taco seems to me to be more, um, “honest” and kinda humorous about its name, whereas Hooter’s seems more wink-wink frat boy, somehow–but I can’t really say why, exactly)?

    Or is it just that tacos are good and chicken wings are way overrated?

  15. Puffin

    If Pink Taco was as ubiquitous as Hooter’s, to the point where 1 out of every 10 university co-eds aspired to wait tables at Pink Taco while working toward their degrees in communications; where 12-year-old boys went to school with t-shirts that said, “Pink Taco Chicks Dig Me;” where Pink Taco management was vindicated in filming potential waitresses changing in and out of the Pink Taco uniform during interviews; well, then you might be just as pissy, bitchphd.

    So long as it’s just a Vegas thing, it’s hard to get in a snit about it.

  16. Ms Kate

    I don’t know about Pink Godzilla sushi, but I remember a small bento place in (Portland? Seattle?) near a YMCA that had a banner reading “Box Lunch”.

    But that takes some thinking and awareness to process – sort of like Pink Taco versus Hooters.

    Also, a hooter is not a kind of food. A taco is. Furthermore, eating pink tacos is a skill or even a high art, but leering at boobs is not.

  17. bitchphd

    12-year old boys wear t-shirts that say “Hooters chicks dig me”?!? Jesus. I’m glad I haven’t seen that, because I’d hate to get arrested for assaulting a 12-year old boy.

  18. Ms Kate

    For all the men’s men who may be lurking, this Salem, Massachusetts store name’s for you: http://www.thebunghole.com/

    I wonder if they sell that local brand of margarita and mixed drink glass salts and sugars called “Rimmer’s”?

  19. dykotomy

    FYI “box lunch” is actually an English translation of “bento.”

  20. Twisty

    Are you saying that “bento box,” a phrase I use all the time, is a dumb Americanized redundancy, like “shrimp scampi” or “meet me at the La Valencia”?

  21. Edith

    In the TMI category, an ex-girlfriend of mine used to affectionately call me “pink taco” due to the fact that, apparently, my pink taco tasted a lot like Denny’s nachos. I was sort of put off by this endearment, until I remember that said ex-girlfriend had some weird issues regarding taste, as she thought that Silk’s chocolate soy milk tastes a lot like watermelon juice.

  22. aldahlia

    Whitters, you’re in luck.

    Behold! Cooters RAW BAR and Restaurant in Clearwater Beach, Florida.

    http://www.cooters.com/

  23. jenofiniquity

    On any given day you may be sitting next to a grouper fisherman, a famous athlete, a pub owner from Ireland, a lawyer (he’s the one who runs out when an ambulance goes by), a retired cop from New York, a busboy from another restaurant or just a sailing traveler in port for a day.

    Apparently the only women at Cooters are schlepping the drinks.

    The naming convention that dictactes that restaurant names must always be plural nouns, and not possessive nouns, drives me unto madness. “Cooter’s” I would get. Chez Cooter. “The Cooter” I would get. Whatever. “Cooters” confuses the hell out of me.

  24. thebewilderness

    Amber,
    In the first half of the twentieth century, cheesecake was the term for photographs of women showing a lot of leg.

  25. nolo

    Maybe I’m totally ignorant but what does cheesecake have to do with sexy pinups? I missed that memo.

    “Cheesecake” is an old term for a style of portraying women (either in photographs or illustrations) in provocative but not quite pornographic poses. Pin-up girls. There have been some feminist attempts to reclaim the pinup girl as a subversive icon, but I remain suspicious.

  26. nolo

    Damn. Better attempt at linking here.

  27. KPhoebe

    Twisty: Yes, sorry. Bento (or obento) is the whole of the name.

  28. Chris Clarke

    The name also bespeaks just a little bit of Honkyocentrism.

  29. wabewawa

    I figured I’d just pass on the results of my possibly overly curious efforts to remember the original inspirations for the way cool photoshopping above, for the benefit of those who have expressed some curiousity about the same:

    http://blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com/2005/09/27/deviant-taco-porn

    http://blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com/2005/09/26/introduction-to-fashion-week

  30. CarolS

    I live about 3 miles away from a bar called “Cooz’s Corner,” so I think I’d better recuse myself.

  31. alwaysarousedgirl

    As I was cooking dinner for the family (strangely enough, it was Taco Night in my house), all I could think of was “Dripping Hot Meat Wallet,” and I kept giggling.

    It made the small people I live with look at me funny.

  32. syfr

    Bitch, if you’ve had wings at Hooters only, you haven’t really had wings. If you’re every in the Buffalo, NY area, email me at this address (syfr at juno dot com) with the word Taco in the subject line, and I will take you our for real wings. They’re not my favorite food, but if you’re going to dislike them, you should dislike the real thing, not the knockoffs you get in places-that-are-not-Buffalo.

    I blame the patriarchy for chain restaurants and the death of local foods!

  33. syfr

    That is, at syfr0 at juno dot com.

    I got so excited about the blame button, I forgot my email address!

  34. kactus

    If restaurants are hard up for pussy-euphemisms, they could check out this website:
    http://www.starma.com/penis/muffy/muffy.html

    I’m rather enamored of ” Kookooyumyumpoon” myself.

  35. Chris Clarke

    Bitch, if you’ve had wings at Hooters only, you haven’t really had wings. If you’re every in the Buffalo, NY area, email me at this address (syfr at juno dot com) with the word Taco in the subject line, and I will take you our for real wings.

    Are you a Frank and Teressa’s purist, syfr, or do the Elmwood Strip offerings meet your standards?

    Mmmm wings.

    Of course the last time I was at the Anchor Bar I had a beef on weck just to be heterodox.

  36. Ron Sullivan

    Before it became a parlor euphemism*, a cooter was a turtle and it still is. Specifically a freshwater turtle — a red-ear, slider, etc. — but not a box turtle. Mud turtles get called other thiings, like “stinkpot,” and I don’t think the category includes softshells, but I’m less sure of that. “Aquaticness is a necessary attribute of cooterhood,” says my Southeast linguistic consultant. He also mentioned a relatively flat shell, which I think is part of that aquatic thing.

    Since I rather like turtles, I find “cooter” a friendly sort of nickname. Also, I think one of my sisters was married for a short while to a guy named “Cooter.” (I have some difficulty keeping track. Also of which sister it was; there were two who passed this wonder arounhd, as my mother would say, like a football. Also I don’t think he was the one who bit the heads of large marine fish while on fishing trips; I think that was Cowboy. Both were examples of self-made Florida rednecks who actually hailed from, say, Pittsburgh.)

    Wotsisname the sex columnist made reference a few months ago to a parallel nick to “chicks with dicks”: “guys with pies.” He scorned the euphemism*, but I rather liked it. it’s one of the friendliest slang terms for my naughty bits I’ve seen yet. But then I’m fond of pie.

    *Not exactly euphemisms. Hmm. What’s a humorous (or attemptedly humorous) -phemism? A risiphenism?

    Not to dispute your experience, Chris, but it’s been my observation over the years that the pinkness referenced here is correlated to skin color strongly, but not infallibly. Does map rather closely to age, though. But The Purple Taco makes one think of Barney the Dinosaur, and that’s a mood-killer to be avoided.

  37. Ms Kate

    I’m rather enamored of ” Kookooyumyumpoon” myself.

    I hereby nominate “Bento” to be on that list.

    Except now I’m thinking of one of those classic “why didn’t I bring a damn camera” moments when I spyed the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile parked in an alley beside a big “Bento” sign. The uniformed driver was sitting on the bumper, eating a japanese box lunch. I’m afreud on the implications!

  38. hkreader

    Fascinationg article on obentos, their preparation for pre-schoolers and their meaning in Japan.

    Allison, Anne. (1991) Japanese Mothers and Obentos: The Lunchbox as Ideological State Apparatus. Anthropological Quarterly. 64:195-208.

  39. bitchphd

    Syfr, you’re on re. wings. But I gotta defend my rep–I have NEVER been inside a Hooter’s, and I never, ever will.

    Except on one condition. If I ever have to go into one of those places, god knows why, I will immediately remove my top. They want hooters, they’re gonna goddamn good and well get them.

  40. mycrust

    Dr. Bitch,

    I do think that the ubiquity of Hooters goes a long way towards reinforcing its repulsiveness. But I wonder if another factor in The Pink Taco not seeming quite so bad has to do with taboo and visibility of body parts. There is a level on which The Pink Taco is basically a joke, and Hooters is not. That is, if you go into a Hooters, you expect to literally see hooters, or at least enough of their contours to leave nothing to the imagination. As you said earlier, the waitresses at The Pink Taco wear tiny shorts on the job, but unless the fabric is much tighter than I imagine, I doubt that customers go to The Pink Taco to actually see pussy. Perhaps therein lies the difference.

  41. Gertrude Strine

    bitchphd and mycrust, “hooters” invites thoughts of rough manipulation.
    “tacos” gives me visions of benevolent women offering up fragrant and inviting, folded to conceal a little surprise, sufficiencies of gusto.
    A rather inspired metaphor for those who enjoy delving in the cunt, and so much more rayfeened than “muff burger” and similar, wouldn’t you say?

    Although I am more than a little put off by the pierced and laced version in the illustration, I’m sure there is something in the archive that would make this more meaningful – when I get the time to read more of it.

  42. norbizness

    Oh Taco! Up Yours!

  43. Whitters

    No, to be fair, the Pink Taco really *is* a euphemism for pussy.

    I know, and I’m certain there was more than a little wink-wink, nudge-nudge at the naming committee. I think it’s a cute name, and not derogatory towards women.

    Behold! Cooters RAW BAR and Restaurant in Clearwater Beach, Florida.
    Wheeeee!!!!

  44. hedonistic

    I like the idea of marketing folk spreading the word that real men eat pink tacos. Consider it a public service!

  45. Amber

    I have never heard of the cheesecake thing, even with as many rockabilly/vintage pinup obsessed girlfriends I’m acquainted with. Thanks for the enlightenment.

  46. hedonistic

    By the way Bitch et al, perhaps we straight girls don’t mind the taco reference so much as the hooters reference because “taco eating” brings us pleasure, while “hooter watching” does not!

  47. hedonistic

    WTF did I just write? Straight girls, lesbians, taco eating is definitely a good thing.

  48. barlyru

    Years ago, back when I worked on the cube farm (in the wide open prairies of cubicles), a group of people from our office celebrated someone’s birthday over lunch at Hooter’s. I was only sorry I missed it after they came back with a story about Leslie. While they were there, Leslie came in and purchased a Hooter’s waitress-uniform t-shirt, and was wearing it when he left. So now when I think about the women at Hooter’s, I picture this guy: http://www.austinchronicle.com/issues/dispatch/2003-03-14/pols_atlarge.html

  49. Twisty

    You haven’t lived until Leslie, dressed in a Star Trek shirt, fake boobs, maharini slippers, and a dong-thong, strolls by your table at the Bouldin Creek coffee shop, bums a cigarette, and, upon retiring from your midst, shakes his freckled butt cheeks as a thank-you.

  50. mycrust

    Gertrude, I too was wondering about the Mexican food/BDSM connection. Hmm.

  51. grrr kitty

    Form follows function. Were it not meant to be eaten, it would not be fashioned in the shape of something so delectable, so inviting and so pleasing as a taco.

  52. maarmie

    My parents came to visit me in NYC. It was the first time they had ever been. Where did they want to eat lunch? HOOTERS! IN MANHATTAN! You can take the parents out of Florida, but you can’t take Florida out of the parents. Needless to say, we did not dine at Hooters that day (it kinda offends me, or something).

    In my town, we have a “Bad Ass Coffee” shop that has a donkey or burro or whatever as a mascot. The town was up in arms that the city commission approved a business with such a family-unfriendly name. Puh-leez! I think there are more important things to get upset about.

  53. syfr

    Chris Clarke,
    I’m not much of a wings person, and we tend to get them with pizza (which is weird for this NYC-born-&-bred person). If going for wings specifically, I tend to go to the Anchor Bar (the whole tourist-y thing) or to Duffs.

    BitchPhD,
    No, not Hooters. Never Hooters. Someplace local, fershure.

  54. Charles

    A year or so ago, Hooters sued Cooters for infringing on Hooters’ trademark. I shit you not, although I’m too lazy/busy to find a link.

  55. hedonistic

    They didn’t know the difference between a hooter and a cooter? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH . . .

  56. E.

    Wow, wabewawa! Thanks for the image background on the laced-up pink taco. The pink taco is disturbing, and so are both of the images that preceded it. My skin will stop crawling momentarily.

  57. Gertrude Strine

    The archived discussions on fetishism are just too complicated for my experience of the world but I have a little more of the flavour of I Blame the Patriarchy as a result of exploring them.

    You’d have a small probability of claiming self-actualisation around here, I feel, if you enjoyed being objectified in any degree in any activity.

    So it seems to me that the little game with rock and men and guitars that’s played in the following clip, about 30 seconds in, from a Sydney online news site may be appreciated here

    http://media.fairfax.com.au/?rid=19159

  58. hedonistic

    Gertrude Strine: Good clip. Obviously, we’ve all lost the war against objectification. As an exhibitionist and performing artist, I just laugh at all the funny humans in the human drama, both the objectifiers and the objectified. What a carnival!

  59. hasarder

    I’ve only ever heard the euphamism ‘fish taco’.
    I prefer pink taco.

  60. wabewawa

    You’re quite welcome, E. Google’s not so good with the human rights, eh, but great with its Advanced Search capabilities.

  61. bitchphd

    I think I’ve figured out why Pink Taco doesn’t bother me, but Hooter’s does. It was Whitters’ comment that did it for me.

    The *names*, in and of themselves, aren’t bothersome. OTOH, Hooter’s explicitly markets itself as a ha-ha, let’s-look-at-titties! kind of place. So it isn’t the name, but the attitude that’s offensive. Whereas the Pink Taco doesn’t make a big deal about the meaning of the name. Yes, the waitresses wear short-shorts, but the vibe is really more Bad Attitude than Leer At Chicks, more punk rock than frat rock.

    Of course, if the chain starts to expand and to have billboards with some woman’s ass up there and the name “Pink Taco” scrawled across a pair of shorts that’s climbing into her crack so far you can see her vulva, then I’ll feel differently.

  62. Atzbanite

    In the Seattle area there are two places that really bother Israelis visiting, or worse, living there. One is Coos Bay, which has large billboards everywhere and the Other is Shilshul beach, also on billboards. To their eyes, these are big boards that say,

    “Come to VAGINA bay for a great time” and
    “Visit DIARRHEA beach with the family”

    I still recall fondly the first day they arrived to start a fresh life in America….we also had to explain what Tofu was (tiny sea creatures quished into brick form) and why mostly the men were so concerned with weapondry. (The women would take the government into their own hands)

    I am proud to say that even to this day we are a font of information, even at distance, for their American education. And they have returned the favor, giving me the kind nickname of Atzbanite, which I found out later meant ‘pre-menstral, or bitchy’. Not to be confused with the Yiddish ‘Choler’ia’, as in “If you can see my t-shirt my Choler’ia fell of the bike”

  63. James

    I’m the original founder of the Pink Taco restaurant and bar, and I’m gonna be posting a series recounting the full story behind its inception (in Manhattan freakin’ Kansas!), fall, and resurrection. If anybody is interested in learning what actually happened, (picketing, hate mail, anonymous threats, sex, drugs, and the rest), you’ll be able to find it here:

    http://helpmestartauniversity.wordpress.com/2008/04/17/the-amazing-true-story-of-the-original-pink-taco-restaurant-bar/

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