Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Pun-ishing map charts intersection of capitalism and painful wordplay

See, because it sounds like whore! Get it?

Samuel Johnson declared puns the lowest form of humor. James Joyce used them to compose Finnegans Wake. And for thousands of American restaurateurs and store owners, puns are simply part of a wise business plan. Across this great land can be found countless hair salons, taco stands, and dog groomers with wordplay-based names. And now, having asked readers to submit their own favorite examples of such establishments and having received “over 3,000 submissions,” the travel experts at Atlas Obscura (in cooperation with Digg) are now ready to present their own, searchable, interactive map of America’s “punny businesses.” By their own calculation, after “checking and culling the obvious fakes,” the diligent researchers at Atlas Obscura narrowed the field down to “1,900-ish actual places.” Until now, finding such institutions was a matter of mere happenstance for the weary, pun-starved traveler. No more! Headed to Kansas City and feeling peckish for Vietnamese/French fusion cuisine? Head on over to the iPho Tower at 3623 Broadway St. Need a haircut in Hawaii? Try Hair Force in Kailua Kona. And then, uh, there’s this:


The map, suggests its creators, provides a new way of looking at this country. It is a prism of sorts through which one can view American society. “Once you start noticing, say, the high numbers of Brewed Awakenings in the Northeast, you can’t stop.” For those with very specific tastes in commerce-based wordplay, Atlas Obscura has augmented its map with articles specifically devoted to particular types of businesses, including coffee shops, food trucks, and even doctor and dentists. In that last category, however, the researchers sadly found out that “medical comedy doesn’t stretch beyond teeth and eyes.”

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