Fresh cock, anyone?

Currently the most popular story on BBC News is the bizarre and horrific tale of a man who cut off his own penis in a restaurant in London on Sunday. A spokeswoman for Zizzi, the pizza chain whose branch on The Strand was the scene for this spontaneous public castration, said “the man was not thought to have any connection with the restaurant.”

Well, he may not have been employed there. But ever since a Francophile friend pointed out to me that “zizi” is French slang for “willy”, I’ve always wondered about how informed the restaurant Zizzi is regarding the implications of their name. Their spokeswoman was obviously not a comics geek; if she was, she may have heard of Melinda Gebbie‘s first solo work, Fresca Zizis (“fresh cocks” in Italian). She says:

I did news graphics for a while for a 24-hour news station and they couldn’t afford cameramen to cover all the things, so they had three of us sitting in a little room making graphics all day long to go with the stories. And this “fresca zizis” phrase referred to a story that came up that a baker in Rome had been arrested by the police. He had kept his bakery shop open on Sunday, and in the window was a little sign saying “fresca zizis” and underneath were little meringue penises and breasts.

The fact that it’s an Italian food chain here really compels you to ask what they were doing when they came up with the restaurant name. And if they were trying to have a covert laugh – has it rebounded through the grisly workings of fate?

No comments here for now, but if you want to you can chip in on Facebook or Twitter.