Very Punny

A pun is the lowest form of humor, unless you thought of it yourself  – Doug Larson

I grew up in a family where corny humor … and especially puns … were the order of the day … every day.   My Dad was the Master and anything was fair game.   Every year when King Melchizedek turned up in the Catholic gospels at Mass, my Dad would pronounce him King Melted-Cheese-a-Deck, eliciting the required snickers and groans from everyone but my mother, who’d just shake her head.  Another Dad classic was his response to Grey Poupon Dijon mustard commercials.  He referred to the stuff as Gray Poop on De John.  Dad taught us well and by the time we reached junior high we were all accomplished (awful) punsters.  Dad’s annual King Melted-Cheese-a-Deck routine might be greeted with, That’s not punny anymore, Dad.  Cue more groans.   Like Doug Larsen, we thought of punning as the lowest form of humor, which was why we loved it and because, as an anonymous author once said, A pun is a short quip followed by a long groan.

It wasn’t until I reached high school English that I learned that Dad wasn’t the Original Pun Master.  Shakespeare’s plays were full of them.  For example, in Romeo and Juliet, when Romeo’s friend Mercutio is fatally stabbed, he says, Tomorrow I shall be a grave man.  Groan.  Oscar Wilde and Edgar Allen Poe were fond of using puns.  No less that Jesus Christ himself uttered a pun when he said of the apostle Peter, Upon this rock, I will build my church.  Peter, you see, also meant rock.  Do we get to groan?   And it turns out that the literary giants loved puns for exactly the same reason we did.  After all, Edgar Allen Poe said, The goodness of the true pun is in the direct ratio of its intolerability and Victor Hugo quipped Puns are the droppings of soaring wits.  I’ve observed that there doesn’t seem to be a middle ground when it comes to puns.  People love them or hate them … they either groan happily or shake their heads and walk away.  Thank goodness my wife, Muri, who isn’t a fan of puns, didn’t walk away when she met my family.

In case you’ve never looked, I’ll tell you that the internet is a punster’s playground.  Even the website names are puns.  For example, there’s Bad Puns – May the Farce Be With You (offering, I went for a job as a gold prospector, but it didn’t pan out), So Much Pun – Visual Puns and Jokes (see Quoth the Raven, above) and PunLiners (Help! The supply of pants is being depleatedDaniel Riehs).  Here are a few others I found:

Atheism is a non-prophet institution – George Carlin

Why can a man never starve in the Great Desert? Because he can eat the sand which is there. But what brought the sandwiches there? Why, Noah sent Ham, and his descendants mustered and bred Richard Whately

Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He’s all right now Anonymous

Show me a piano falling down a mineshaft and I’ll show you A-flat minor  – Anonymous

Surely you can’t be serious? I am serious, and don’t call me ShirleyAirplane

I’m an incorrigible punster.  Do not incorrige me Anonymous

OK, have you had enough?   I just wanted you to begin your day well-groanded.   So, When it comes to puns, are you a groaner or a head-shaker?  I suppose if you’re still reading, you’re a groaner.

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3 Comments on “Very Punny”

  1. barrythewiz Says:

    I’m all groaned out for the day.

  2. WaywardWanderer Says:

    What a coincidence , your family sounds just like mine!

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