People in Taiwan keep changing their name to “Salmon” for free sushi, officials ask them to stop

sushi in fancy plates
Photo: REDA&CO / Contributor (Getty Images)

People will go through all sorts of things to score a free meal. At the legendary Hot Doug’s in Chicago (RIP), if you had a Hot Doug’s tattoo, you could eat for free. Similarly, this week Taiwan Sushiro, a chain of sushi restaurants in Taiwan, was giving away an all-you-can-eat sushi meal to anyone with the Chinese characters “gui yu” (“salmon”) in their ID. They could also invite up to five friends. Siiiiiick. Please call me Dennis “Salmon” Lee from now on.

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Around 150 people applied to change their names, and the local media dubbed the entire thing “salmon chaos.” Taiwanese law allows people to change their names up to three times, so people were apparently cashing in on their abilities to do so. This is amazing. But according to The Guardian, officials are not amused.

“This kind of name change not only wastes time but causes unnecessary paperwork,” said deputy interior minister Chen Tsung-yen. He urged the public to “cherish administrative resources.”

“I hope everyone can be more rational about it,” he said.

This gets better. During “salmon chaos,” local media interviewed people who were in on the name-changing shenanigans. “I just changed my name this morning to add the characters ‘Bao Cheng Gui Yu’ and we already ate more than Tw$7,000 ($244 USD),” a college student named Ma told TVBS. The addition to Ma’s name roughly translates into “Explosive Good Looking Salmon.” That is some true hero shit right there.

“I’ve changed my first name to salmon and two of my friends also did,” a woman named Tung told SET TV. “We’ll just change our names back afterwards.” Other fishy names reported were “Salmon Prince,” “Salmon Fried Rice,” and “Meteor Salmon King.” The true winner in my book, though, was the person who added 36 new characters to his name, almost all of them seafood themed, including “abalone,” “crab,” and “lobster.”

The promotion is over, which means there’s probably a flood of people changing their names back, but I hope there are at least a few people who’ve decided that they want to be known as a fish for the rest of their lives.

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Staff writer at The Takeout. Also: Saveur Humor Blog Award Winner, professional pizza maker, and insufferable troublemaker.

DISCUSSION

brickhardmeat
Brick HardMeat

I went to Hot Doug’s once. It was a pilgrimage of sorts. I was in town for the weekend and went directly from the airport, exhausted and towing my luggage, to wait in line for 90 precious minutes and eat a couple hot dogs. Can’t remember what exactly I got, but one of them had thick slices of foie gras on it. And a side of duck fat fries.

Totally worth it.