Following many decades of indiscriminate overuse, the Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs has announced that Britain might run out of fish puns within the next ten years. Some experts now believe that a complete ban may need to be put in plaice to stop unoriginal forced banter depleting the seas forever.
‘It may sound like something out of a bad bream but the industry is caught between a rock and a hard plaice,’ said a DEFRA spokesman. From what we’re herring, there isn’t a single original seafood-related piece of wordplay that hasn’t been done to death, unfor-tuna-tely. We’ll mullet over in committee but the scale of the problem should net be underestimated. If you can think of a better solution, you’ll have to let minnow. Don’t be koi about it.’
Many blame fish and chip shops for the predictable use of humour in their names. The Codfather II in Harrogate, Cod be Praised in Coventry and For Cod’s Sake on Twickenham High Street have been particularly condemned. ‘Cod is meant to be omnipresent, but sadly these days most people don’t even believe in Cod – or even the human sole,’ the spokesman added.
Others, however, believe this charge to be bass-less, accuse DEFRA of carping or even call the whole thing a lot of pollocks. ‘The real problem is the turbot-charged Spanish fleet overpunning in British waters,’ said Mick Cash, general secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers. ‘Almejas suggestion: if you arenque all the … um, if there aren’t any foreign trawlers, stocks cangrejo again … No? Oh well, worth a try.’
Recently, representative of the Grimsby fishing industry petitioned the government for the seafood industry to be given special free trade status after Brexit, despite Grimsby itself voting strongly to leave the EU after a strong campaign by U-kippers. DEFRA believes that this is completely impractical, however badly the industry is floundering.
‘I’ve haddock-uite enough of this. The s-tench of hypocrisy is appalling,’ said the spokesman. ‘You can’t spend years complaining about the Common Fish Pun Policy then demand an exemption – it’s troutlandish behaviour, sardinely typical of British attitudes today: they think they can have their hake and eat it. Hey, did you see what I did there?’
Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmon were unavailable for comment.
(Hat tips: fernandomando, davidh, titus & chrisf)