Hot dog modesty in the Times

On the front page of yesterday’s New York Times, Papaya King goes to Hollywood:

A New York Dog Makes Its Hollywood Debut
by Adam Nagourney

HOLLYWOOD — It is tucked in a storefront a block from the Walk of Fame, walking distance from the annual Academy Awards ceremonies, and steps from the hubbub of tourists, hucksters and celebrity hunters that is Hollywood: a Papaya King hot dog stand, in all its garish yellow and orange glory, selling hot dogs imported straight from the Bronx.

This symbol of New York landed last week in the heart of Hollywood, with a cluster of balloons and a cheeky billboard campaign that includes an off-color joke about a casting couch. (Another Papaya billboard reads: “We’re 100 percent natural. But we think we’ll fit in L.A. just fine.”)

Note the allusion to the billboard, without the actual text. Just the sort of winking avoidance that the paper claims to abhor. The story would have been fine without “that includes an off-color joke about a casting couch”. Or with the sexually suggestive text from the billboard. But this middle course is just annoying.

The billboard that the paper does quote:

And the one it’s too modest to quote:

The casting-couch billboard is in fact indirect, though it does manage to build on the phallicity of hot dogs and the sexual milieu of the casting couch to suggest a parallel between stains from hot dog sauce and cum stains. If that crosses the NYT‘s suggestiveness line, the billboard could just have been left out of the story.


2 Responses to “Hot dog modesty in the Times”

  1. This Week’s Language Blog Roundup | Wordnik ~ all the words Says:

    […] Zwicky poked a bit of fun at The Gray Lady and its demure coverage of New York hot dog chain Papaya King’s suggestive […]

  2. Food and drink postings « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] Hot dog modesty in the Times (link) […]

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