My last post looked at some of Warhammer’s finest puns. Let’s now look at the dregs….
5. THERE’S A ONE-EYED FELLOW HIDING TO THE SOUTH OF KAMMENDUN
Graeme Davis’ contribution to WFRP has been immense. He has provided some of its finest material (eg Shadows Over Bögenhafen and A Rough Night at the Three Feathers). He has supported the game for over thirty years (and worked on all three editions). And he generously makes time to support the WFRP community to this day.
So I can can forgive him an awful lot. I can even forgive him this pun, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a bad one.
It was the title of an adventure in White Dwarf 102 and a reference to this:
There’s a one-eyed yellow idol to the north of Khatmandu
– J. Milton Hayes, The Green Eye of the Yellow God
I have mentioned before the pleasure of discovering a pun that has lain hidden for many years. But the pleasure comes from being artfully deceived and failing to see something that is, in hindsight, obvious. This pun, though, was not obvious. It escaped me for decades, even though I could see there was a pun in there. The reference was just too obscure. Perhaps it was more obvious to others and The Green Eye of the Yellow God is much better known than I think, but even in the age of Wikipedia it seems esoteric to me.
So a rare blot on Graeme Davis’ copy book. At least the adventure contained fimir.
4. THE BLACK POOL ILLUMINATIONS
This event at the Middenheim carnival is an allusion to a well-known attraction at the British seaside town of Blackpool. This one is so thin, I suppose it’s not really even a pun. One is the Black Pool Illuminations, the other is the Blackpool Illuminations. One is a light show, the other is, well, a light show.
Middenheim was full of terrible puns (Salladh-bar, Edam Gouda, etc), but this one stands head and shoulders below the rest.
WFB second edition described Vim-to as the martial aspect of the cult of the Orange Simca. Presumably we were supposed to think of Bushido and oriental martial arts. But all I could think of was this:
Vimto is a British fruit cordial made from grape, raspberry and blackberry juice. It isn’t very popular now, but was reasonably common in the 1980s.
The pun didn’t get any better when Graeme Davis revealed it was meant to mean “the way of martial vigour” (a play on “vim”). Groan.
2. ARKA ZARGUL
The McDeath supplement is filled with punning references to the 1984 miners’ strike in Britain. Many of them are quite ropey (Een McWrecker, anyone?), but this is the worst.
It’s a reference to Arthur Scargill, the then leader of the National Union of Miners, though I doubt anyone would realise that without the context.
The Shrine of Rigg (in the second Citadel Compendium) introduced the sea elf god of wealth and happiness … Amex.
I can appreciate that in early 1980s Britain, American Express and its abbreviation perhaps enjoyed a lower profile than they do now, but surely even then this was a pun too far.