On the heels of my last post dealing with jokes, we will now deal with what is considered to be the lowest form of humor – the pun.
For your amusement, here are three of my better (it’s all relative) pun-tastic play on words (at least the ones I will admit to remember).
Because “Braces Monday” Is Silly
This Monday will mark the sixth anniversary of my eldest son having his braces put on. He had taken off three years so his teeth are fantastic now.
On that Monday in 2011, he actually had brackets glued to his teeth and wires were places in between the brackets to begin the process of straightening out his pearly whites.
Since this was the Monday the day after the NCAA announced who the teams were that would compete in their annual basketball championship (aka March Madness), I told my son that today he had completed his first “Bracket Monday“.
(Yeah, I had to explain the joke to him which sort of kills the vibe of the humor.)
I Don’t Blame the Editor At All
When I appeared on the game show Tic-Tac-Dough back in the fall of 1990 (as previously seen here), one of the things I learned about TV quiz programs was that the introductory give-and-take between host and contestant is a scripted affair. So, before I went on stage, I was given a brief rehearsal on what the host would ask me and how I would respond.
I walk on stage to take my place and when the cameras start rolling, the host asks the announcer who the next challenger is. A deep voice intones my name, gives my occupation (disc jockey), and says that my hobby is collecting boomerangs.
When the camera focuses back to the host, Patrick Wayne, he says, “So it says here your interest is with boomerangs. Tell us about it.”
With a straight face, I look at the host and say, “It’s a hobby with a great return investment.”
(I can feel you rolling your eyes from here.)
This is such a bad pun that when this episode airs in September 1990, this exchange is actually cut out of the broadcast. Instead, the show cuts from the announcer saying my name and goes right into a commercial break.
However, while one-liner puns are fun, the true test of the pun-smith is the “pun war”. These verbal battles are in the form of a dialog but the sentences all have to follow the same punny theme. One of my more memorable pun wars took place at the start of 1993 during the time (read about previously here) when I was training to be a vacuum salesman.
This is my story.
During the first day as a door-to-door wannabe, I met Ariel (not her real name, but since I am a fan of Shakespeare, it’s as good a name as any to describe this spirit). In a nutshell, and simply phrased, she was loco and that was her charm.
We had two trainers for our class who I dubbed Pixie and Sprite as they seemed interchangeable. Near the end of one of Pixie (or Sprite’s) discussion about presentation techniques, he asked if anyone had any questions. Ariel’s hand shot up. She asked who had won the 1956 World Series. Sprite (or was it Pixie?) was not amused. The instructor asked if anyone had a product-related question. Ariel’s hand shot up again. Without waiting for a prompt to proceed, Ariel asked if it would be proper form to refer to the company’s vacuum cleaners as “machines that really suck”. The scowl on Pixie’s face was proportional to the chuckles from the rest of the class. Being punny is one thing, but it is quite another tank of herring when you can combine it with the bravery to actually use it in public.
During lunch, I walked up to Ariel and sat beside her.
“That comment you made about the machines sucking was a good attachment,” I offered.
“Thanks,” she replied, “but if you’re thinking of engaging in a battle of puns with me, you should know I can beat Amana or a-woman-a in this room.” She looked up to see if I would pick up her thrown gauntlet.
“Could you really leave me in the dust?” I asked.
“It’s already in the bag,” she countered.
“I’m bristling with confidence.”
She paused, cocked her head to one side, and asked, “Hoo-ver the heck are you?” drawing out the first syllable in “Hoover”
“I’m Brian,” I said offering my hand.
“Ariel,” she said shaking my hand. “See, I told you I would win. Where was your pun in your last sentence?” She gave me such a mischievous grin that had it not been so sincere, it would have been scary.
“I’ve been hosed,” I weakly protested.
That’s my story.
P.S. This character of Ariel would later go down in my personal log as Date Disaster #3, but that is a story we can “pick up” on another day.