May 18, 2013 - O. Henry Pun-Off Day

A frog went into a Wells Fargo bank and approached the loan officer. He could see from her nameplate that her name was Patricia Waak.

'Miss Waak, I'd like to get a $20,000 loan to buy a boat,' the frog said.

Patty looked at the frog in disbelief and asked his name. The frog said his name was Kermit Jagger. He looked proud as he informed her that his dad was Mick Jagger, and that he had come to this particular Wells Fargo because he and his dad knew the bank manager.

Patty explained that he would need to secure the loan with some collateral.

The frog said, 'Of course. I brought this.' He produced a tiny porcelain elephant.

Very confused, Patty explained that she would have to consult with the bank manager, and she disappeared into a back office.

She found the manager and said, 'There's a frog called Kermit Jagger out there who claims to know you and wants to borrow $20,000. And he wants to use this as collateral!'

She held up the tiny pink porcelain elephant. 'I mean, what in the world is this?' she asked.

The bank manager smiled and said...

(wait for it.........)

.....'It's a knickknack, Patty Waak. Give the frog a loan. His old man's a Rolling Stone.'

That, my dears, is a very long set up for a very bad pun. Puns are often considered the lowest form of humor because they depend on words that sound the same or similar rather than irony, parody, social or political critique, and exaggeration.

Tonight in Austin, Texas, people will gather together to celebrate puns. There they will present the Punniest of Shows—skits filled with puns—and some will compete as Pun Slingers—in which people go head-to-head, trying to out-pun the competition at creating puns on a surprise topic.

The puns will be judged! Winners of the Punniest of Shows and of the Pun Slingers competition will be chosen by a panel of judges, but there will also be an award called the Most Viable Punster, a title awarded by votes from the entire group of competitors.

The fun-and-funny event will be held in the O. Henry Museum. You may have read or seen a performance of one of O. Henry's short stories; his most famous story may be Gift of the Magi. What does O. Henry have to do with Austin, Texas—and, for that matter, what does this gifted author have to do with puns?

Well, a man named William Sydney Porter used to live in Austin Texas, where he started writing after working his regular job. He used a variety of pen names, but he became best known under the pseudonym O. Henry.

O. Henry stories were famous for their wit, wordplay, and twisty endings. Puns are supposed to be witty, are a form of wordplay, and often provide an unexpected or twisty ending to a joke.

Enjoy some puns!

“Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.” 
  • Buzzle has a long list of poems, including this doozy:
“What do you call a sleeping bull? A bull-dozer.” 
  • Write your own puns!

Plan Ahead...
Check out my Pinterest boards of May holidays, historical events in May, and May birthdays.

Also on this date:

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