By David Perloff

Some people say it’s “fuh.” Others insist it’s “fo.” But no matter how you pronounce the popular Vietnamese dish, there’s definitely something pho-knee about the hearty noodle soups described below. (For real phos, including those offered by Pho Realz?!,

see Mo Pho.)

Just pho fun, when reading these “fuh” and “fo” phrases aloud, imagine yourself as Carnac the Magnificent*, the legendary mystic from the East who could divine answers to questions before they were asked.

Answer: Phogettaboutit.
Question: What should I do about the fly in my soup?

Answer: Pho kingdom.
Question: Where do soup-loving morons live?

Answer: Pho sho.
Question: Are you certain this is the best soup ever?

Answer: Pho queue.
Question: Why did you cut in front of me in the soup line?

Answer: Pho pas.
Question: How can I remember to use the proper spoon?

Answer: Mother pho curse.
Question: What did the Wicked Witch mutter while stirring up a toxic noodle brew for Dorothy and Toto?

Answer: Pho Kim.
Question: What does Kanye West think while eating soup and watching the sex tape his wife made with Ray J?

Answer: Pho glee.
Question: How can someone so unattractive be so cheerful about soup?

Answer: Pho kit.
Question: How does one make laissez faire stew?

Answer: Pho cup.
Question: Did you really spill half the bowl on your boss?

Answer: Pho cough.
Question: You think it’s this soup that gave me a sore throat?


*Carnac the Magnificent is a character Johnny Carson (1925 - 2005) played on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. For vivid new insight into the life and mind of the legendary television star, read Johnny Carson, a new biography (released October 15) by Carson’s former attorney Henry Bushkin. A reviewer from The New York Times describes the book as a “rare celebrity tell-all by an author who knows whom and what he’s talking about.”