1

In the 1992 adventure game The Dagger of Amon Ra, the protagonist Laura Bow has the following conversation with her colleague, Crodfoller T. Rhubarb:

Laura: What can you tell me about Crodfoller T. Rhubarb?
Crodfoller: You're talking to him.
Laura: No, I mean the real Crodfoller T. Rhubarb.
Crodfoller: There's another Crodfoller T. Rhubarb? No two sets of parents would be that cruel.

That makes me think that the name "Crodfoller T. Rhubarb" must contain some sort of pun, but I can't see what it is. I'm not a native speaker, though. Does anybody see the joke in this?

  • I don't see any obvious pun. It's simply a ridiculous version of the (often southern US) practice of giving children names which are supposed to appear sophisticated. (But no doubt the author chose "Crodfoller" because it sounds like it could be a pun, or a corruption of some other word.) – Hot Licks May 9 '16 at 12:12
5

There's no pun in the name; rather, it's a throwback to a stereotype of 19th- and 20th-century American popular culture. When an author wanted to depict a certain type of character - generally the most important man in a small town, usually in the South - the template was to give him a ridiculous-sounding first and last name, and always to include his middle initial.

Al Capp's long-running comic strip Li'l Abner is one famous source of these names; he invented characters named Bashington T. Bullmoose and Jubilation T. Cornpone, among many others.

  • 1
    So the joke on the Sheriff, Roscoe P Coltrane ,in The Dukes of Hazzard, is that he should be an important man in town but instead toadies to Boss Hogg... Being from UK I never realised the name form was 'coded'. :D – Spagirl May 9 '16 at 7:16
  • 1
    I'd never thought of that - and I was a big fan when I was a kid! I'm not sure that the creators of the show put that much thought into it, but the symbolism certainly works! – MT_Head May 9 '16 at 7:36
  • James Best did frequently emphasize the "P" when the character introduced himself, which makes me think it was on purpose. – Gerald Nov 23 '16 at 17:06
-1

No, I don't.

Sadly,I think it is an example of what I would describe as creative isolation. (That is entirely my own expression).

In the last couple of decades popular culture seems to have less and less to do with the actual world. When Chaucer told his tales, Shakespeare wrote his plays, and Dickens composed stories, when Orwell and Huxley devised their science fiction, and especially in the 50s and 60s, when authors like Stan Barstow, Dennis Potter, and especially John Osborne were around, literature and the creative arts were about the kind of people and things authors saw around them.

Something has now atrophied from literary representation. Society seems to have lost the ability to comment upon itself, and has become vaguely ridiculous, - and we are poorer for it.

Health Warning. This has been written by me, a person of a certain age. My children would not agree with me. And if you have a different view feel free to down vote it.

  • Feel free to down vote it But don't feel free to driveby downvote it. That practice is abhorrent and a plague on this site. Obviously, I am not the downvoter. In fact, ... – deadrat May 9 '16 at 7:29
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    @WS2: oh wow, and there I was thinking that Macbeth's 3 witches, The Tempest's Ariel and Caliban, Dickens's ghosts of Christmas weren't real, they were just literary devices. – Reinstate Monica May 9 '16 at 7:54
  • @deadrat I can't give either you or Chappo full marks I'm afraid since you failed to mention A Midsummer Night's Dream. But 7 out of ten anyway. – WS2 May 9 '16 at 8:07

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