I like a good pun. I know they can be cheesy and groan-inducing, but sometimes they can be clever and unexpected. Also, puns are rarely about rape. Unless your pun is “date grape.” In that case you’re a horrible person, and I think you should go live alone on the moon.
But who would be so callous? Who would be so callous and so willing to make such a terrible pun? Apparently, the proprietors of the Daiquiri Factory in Spokane, Wash. It’s a drink, of course. “Date Grape Koolaid,” they call it. It’s a sweet rum drink. It would sound delicious if it wasn’t such a horrible name.
It turns out that “date grape“ is actually a term that is floating around out there. But it’s a clear reference to “date rape,” and actual survivors of rape did not take kindly to it.
A lot has been written in recent months about the inappropriateness of rape jokes. They often turn the victim into a punch line, but they can also hit their mark and be very insightful. This, however, is not clever. They replaced rape with grape. It’s like they barely tried.
The images the cocktail name conjures is hard to ignore. Has the horrific rape of a passed out young woman in Steubenville passed from our consciousness already? Alcohol may not cause sexual assaults, but it is one of the tools in a rapist’s toolkit.
So naming a new cocktail “Date Grape Koolaid” is in very poor taste. The operators of the Daiquiri Factory know this because rape survivors have told them. Understandably outraged people took to the bar’s Facebook page to express their disgust, and a protest was held in front of the bar itself.
I get that most people aren’t funny and that things you think are funny might fall flat when exposed to the cold light of day. (Seriously. I write for the Internet.) What you should do when your attempt at edgy humor fails is listen, apologize and alter your behavior.
That hasn’t happened here. Raw Story reports that, in response to a rhetorical question about why more people haven’t noticed the offensive name, someone from the bar said that critics were “not smart enough” to understand what the drink really meant.
Hmm. Yes. I see. This is such a clever pun that only a select group of people understand what it’s saying. Seems plausible. The fact that it rhymes with date rape doesn’t play into anything.
Changing the name would take almost no effort at all. Here, I’ll give you my idea: Just switch the words. “Grape Date Kookaid.” Then it sort of rhymes with great date! Then your drink refers to a nice thing, not a horrible thing. You can have that one for free. I’m sure I’m not that much more creative than you, drink-namers of the Daiquiri Factory. You can think of something better and non-rapey. I know it.
“Date Grape Koolaid” is not a clever or funny name. It’s offensive and it condones sexual assault. Please sign and share the petition to demand that Daiquiri Factory formally apologize and take the “Date Grape Koolaid” drink off their menu.
Photo Credit: Spokane Downtown Daiquiri Factory Facebook Page