Legend has it that back in that glorious half-season when Randy Johnson was mowing 'em down for the red-hot Astros, Drayton McLane
thought up what he believed was a brilliant way to part Astros fans from still more money had one of his famous food-service brainstorms. He wanted to unsheath an immense hot dog -- like 16 inches or something -- named in honor of his ace fireballer. Possessed of a steadfastly moral Baptist mind, McLane insisted on calling this gargantuan wiener "The Big Unit."
His underlings were aghast. How could they tell the boss that maybe, just perhaps, there might just be some phallic undertones? A little tittering?
McLane wouldn't hear it. To him, there was nothing naughty about a big thick tube steak called "The Big Unit."
I imagine the meetings at Astros Central looked something like this:
At any rate, evidently someone finally got to McLane and no Big Units ever slid between the lips of warm, moist buns at the Astrodome. (Per Wikipedia, Johnson himself was not so prudish. He served up 22-inch Big Unit dogs at his restaurant in the Phoenix area.)
But other local businesses pressed on ahead with their naughty, unintentionally hilarious and/or disgusting names. Here are ten of the best:
10. BJ Services When Baker Hughes paid $5.5 billion for BJ Services a couple of years ago, many wags thought the price was too stiff. After all, BJ services can be purchased for $10 on many area street corners.
9. Finger-Lickin' Bukateria Here's what Houston Press food critic Katharine Shilcutt had to say about this Southwest Side eatery:
Oh, you silly Nigerians, placing the term "finger-licking" right next to a word that sounds strikingly like one of the filthiest terms in all of pornography. The "finger-licking" here refers to the fact that you have to continually wet your fingers while eating the sticky balls of fufu that accompany your soup. A "bukateria" is a portmanteau of the words "buka" (a Nigerian term for an "eating house") and cafeteria. But to clueless Houstonians, these two items create the perfect storm of eyebrow-raising and dirty laughter.
8. Runny Food Store Ick. That's all. Just ick. (It's on North Durham a little south of West 11th.)
7. Backdoor Sushi The owners of this defunct River Oaks Plaza Japanese joint stumbled onto what is quite possibly the best-ever name for an Asian porn movie.
6. Chewy Balls Tapioca Teas This defunct Spring teahouse had a very descriptive name. Also a very silly and naughty one. 5. Thrustmaster of Texas We stumbled on the HQ of this oilfield products company on the far Northwest Side this Sunday. We are kind of surprised no rappers have posed with the company's huge sign over their shoulder.
4. Crapitto's A name that probably should have been changed at Ellis Island is not only retained by its proud holder, but then goes on to serve as the name of one of the finest Italian restaurants in one of the world's great dining towns. It's a big ol' goofy world.
3.Tease Me Please Me Hair Salon Only in Baytown...
2. Cream Burger Yeah, we get it. You do burgers and shakes. A better name would be "Burgers and Shakes." This sounds too much like a frankfurter place called Spooge Dogs or something.
1. Hung Dong Meat Market We are not one to play the silly Asian name game. It's silly and immature. But Hung Dong Meat Market? Come on. That's freaking hilarious.