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Sunday, October 02, 2005

DOUI versus the FONZ - Part V - The Panda Strikes Back

Well, it's all over bar the shouting. That's right, The Friends of the National Zoo have put their world oil manipulation scheme on hold long enough to end their little "contest" to name "Stew Bon-Bon", the baby panda at the National Zoo. Over 200,000 people happily and ignorantly cast votes for one of the five pathetic names the National Zoo staff came up with for this poor little black and white, bamboo-snarfing media bonanza, not knowing that weeks ago, we held a similar contest and were able to name the panda in a few days, once again proving that private citizens can do anything government can, excepting misplace a billion dollars, and in only 1/30th the time. "Bon-Bon" was the best name our readers sent, and the Stew is to recognize the person to come up with the contest idea, our own Stew Miller.

Let's revisit the five names the National Zoo suggested, along with an analysis of why each name is horribly unsuited for this panda:

  • Hua Sheng ("China Washington" and "magnificent") - Somehow China, Washington, and Magnificent are only two words in Chinese. Ridiculous. Why not just name the poor thing "District of Columbia, inefficient"

  • Sheng Hua ("Washington China" and "magnificent") - It's just the first name flipped around. How lazy can these National Zoo crocodile scrubbers get? No wonder there's a billion golden marmosets at the Zoo. ("What animal shall we order now?" "Aw, I'm too tired to look up new animals, let's just use the form we sent last week for the marmosets.")

  • Tai Shan ("peaceful mountain") - Peaceful Mountain sounds like the name of a bluegrass band, not a ferocious wild bamboo thrashing machine.

  • Long Shan ("dragon mountain") - Maybe as a title for a Tsui Hark film, but a panda?

  • Qiang Qiang ("strong, powerful") - Umm, how about just one Qiang? Doesn't this name really just mean "Strong Strong?" Why not "Big Big" or "Large Large" or "Dig Dug" for that matter?

It's all so hopelessly ridiculous, and still nary a letter from the "Friends" of the National Zoo. More like the "Mafia" of the National Zoo (MONZ), or the "Control Freaks" of the National Zoo (C-FONZ), or even the Misappropriating Unfortunate Missives Enabling Nationally Set-up Contests Heisted At the National Zoo (MUMENSCHANZ).

When will these contest copycats respond to our protestations of foul play!! Why do they insist that they are above the rules of fairness, and why must they hog all the publicity surrounding this giant bichromatic rodent of a panda?

As usual, I sent a letter asking just that.



Well, I hope you're satisfied. Your "little" contest is over and you have escaped responsibility for your inappropriate duplication of my colleague's idea to have a contest at all to name the baby panda, currently residing at your zoo, but destined to be recalled home, just as soon as the Chinese government realizes you offered to name the little penguin-colored hairball something with the word "peaceful" in it.

It doesn't matter. We have decided that this little bloke's name will forever more be "Stew Bon-Bon" in accordance with the contest we started and that our loyal readership participated in. Every time we visit the zoo we will shout out "Hellllloooo little Stew Bon-Bon!" at the top of our considerable lungs and let passers-by know that whatever "Washington Peaceful China Bejing Mountain of Powerful Dragons" name you have given him is merely to suck up to the Red Chinese and avoid the national embarrassment that people thought the best name for him was that of a stewed French candy.

We will still accept a compromise. We'll not embarrass you, your patrons, the pandas, and ourselves, by shouting out this name, if and only if you all privately refer to the panda as "Stew."
If you do this, we will only whisper the name in private and wear it on t-shirts (along with the odd airplane smoke advert) and we will link to the Zoo from a prominent location on our site, which we know must be giving you goosebumps.

Do the right thing MUMENSCHANZ!!! Give this panda a name that he, you, we, and Mr. Stew Rabinowitz of 1143 18th St. NW District of Columbia can be proud of.

Earl Fando
Co-Editor and Contributor
Dictionary of Unfortunate Ideas

P.S. If you agree to call the panda Stew, we'll also throw in a can of bamboo shoots, just to help make ends meet.


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