Friday, 31 July 2009

Biting the hand that feeds me.

Today, I saw this for sale in the BBC shop at Television Centre, and since I had to suffer it, I'm spreading the misery to you too.

No. No, that just won't do. It's not that the time/thyme pun is up there in the gallery of over-used pun infamy with 'Eggstravaganza' and 'Purrfect'. Well, it is that, but that's not all it is. It's that they've managed to use that hackneyed old pun in a context where it doesn't even work... and it doesn't work not just once, but twice over.

They have a wooden spoon with a The Archers logo on it. They need - and I use the word 'need' in the loosest sense imaginable - a jaunty punning phrase connecting the worlds of The Archers and wooden spoons. They've gone with 'thyme', which as far as I know seldom or never comes into contact with a wooden spoon during the cooking of anything; and 'time' as in, sometimes it is the 'time' that The Archers is on.

So, in full, the 'joke' - see note for 'need'- reads like this: This wooden spoon is found in the kitchen, where you might also find the spice thyme, which is a homophone for the concept time, which is a dimension in which popular radio soap The Archers exists, (as does everything else on Earth). So, in a very real and humorous sense, this spoon means that it's "Thyme" (!) for The Archers!!!!!

You may ask if I have a better pun to put on a wooden spoon promoting The Archers. I couldn't be more proud to say that I do not. Why, do you?

P.S. Good, that's Radio Four ticked off. After all, what has it done for me today, apart from broadcasting the third episode of Cabin Pressure, and an episode of the Now Show I wrote for. But that's all!


Robert Hudson said...

Your close personal friend Alison gave me one of these spoons for my birthday. I am very happy with it.

Miss Pear said...

That's just awful! I have a friend who plays a semi-regular character on the show, and that's not the kind of herb he (or his character) prefers, I can tell you... though I suppose you can't really print "Have a ganja at the countryside" on a spoon.

Was in the audience for that Now Show - which bit was yours?

John Finnemore said...

Robbie - you sicken me.
Miss Pear - Explaining the recession through children's characters, mainly.

Hennell said...

Honestly, I think that might actually be the best pun. Alternatives I've just 'written'/scraped from a barrel include:

"Wood you believe it, it's The Archers!"

"Stirring things up with the Archers"

"Oh Cook, it's time for The Archers"

"Always spooning into The Archers"

"Stir yourself, it's The Archers" *

Etc etc.
I'll thankfully stop there but I have the disturbing impression this is going to be in the back of my head when I don't need it.

(Ooh, Oliver Stirling. That could fit in somewhere... And I'm sure there could be something about a Grundy being 'born with a wooden spoon in their mouth'...)

Anyway, yes. I was actually somewhat confused hearing your name in the Now Show credits - took me more then a moment to place you. Enjoyed the kids bit greatly though. Good stuff.

*(I actually quite like this one.... )

James Lark said...

Surely after the whole Jolene/Sid in the shower episode (I know, this story was nearly 10 years ago, but a) in Archers terms that's still recent history and b) I'm not exactly an avid listener) an appropriate pun and one which would certainly entice me to buy said spoon for my Mother is:

The Archers - saucy!

Stu Beale said...


This is why I don't get much on Radio 4.

Stu Beale said...

By that I meant "STARCH-ers". Not that explaining it makes it any better.

God I hope there are no producers reading this.

Lou Archer said...

Being that we ARE The Archers at The Larches, think I may get one.....

Will I HAVE to grow Thyme?

Sarah said...

"Hunger marchers love The Archers!"

Avi said...

The best i would be able to think of is:
"Shoot- it's the Archers"...
And that's 8 years after this post was written, and I have allowed my mind to wander occasionally...