……I’d have had a vegetable named after me.
Seriously. Gina Lollobrigida has a humble lettuce named after her. The lollo lettuce—green and red varieties—supposedly looks like the gorgeous Italian’s hair style, all curly and wavy and yummy. See the resemblance?
The lettuce reminds me of kitchens, and kitchens remind me of my stint in a hotel kitchen. I studied hotel management, you see, and part of the course was a six-month internship at a hotel. One day, labouring away in the continental kitchen, I heard the chef call out to me: “Pass the Mala Sinha!” Huh?
I was later enlightened: a conical steel colander, of the sort used to strain soup, is colloquially called a Mala Sinha. The shape, you see. Big on top, very narrow below. Ah, well.
But frankly, the `big on top’ prize goes to Mae West. So much so that Allied soldiers during World War II dubbed their life preservers `Mae Wests’, because when inflated, they swelled up in front. I can’t pass judgement here on how accurate this supposed similarity is, because in the only Mae West film I’ve seen (I’m No Angel), her assets had definitely drifted south. Methinks if you were a sailor floating around in the freezing waters of the North Sea, drifting south to the warm Mediterranean would be very welcome…sorry, sorry. Just faffing.
Last offering, and this one’s as absurd as the others.
In the Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, rickshaw-pullers will pedal you through the park for a fee. They’ll point out birds to you, but they have their own (not always the approved) name for each bird. A purple moorhen, for instance, they call a lipstick bird; and a brahminy myna is called a Sunil Dutt myna. The `hair’ again, though shorter and neater than La Lollo’s.
And I wonder what would be named after me, if I were ever so lucky. A pumpkin of some sort? A hippopotamus?
Hmm. I think I’ll stick with being obscure.