Once a pun a time, or why you shouldn’t judge me


Samuel Johnson frowning at Shakespeare's puns (courtesy of Wikipedia)


Samuel Johnson called punning the lowest sense of humor. I would take offense but the man is dead, and he wouldn’t care. When he wasn’t speaking ill of puns, Johnson collected words to put in his little dictionary of the English language, frowned through all of Shakespeare’s plays because they are full of puns and then annotated them out of spite, got grouchy and criticized literature (in a scholarly way), and tossed off poems, essays, and biographies before breakfast.


So, yes, we have a lot in common. But, we do not share the same opinion about puns. I think of them as the dark chocolate of humor; good any time of the day, at or between meals, with coffee or wine, with or without nuts, and in all forms.

Well known pharmaceutical company (photo by gabrielsaldana at http://www.flickr.com/photos/gabrielsaldana/5704626269/


I know what you’re thinking. No, friend, I am not addicted to chocolate. I use it purely for medicinal purposes. First, chocolate is good for the heart. I have loved chocolate since before I remember, and that’s how long my heart has been beating. If I stop eating chocolate, my heart may stop. I can’t risk that. Second, chocolate is good for the brain. You have only to read this blog to see the effects of lots of dark chocolate on my brain. Impressive, no? (Note: some questions on this blog are for rhetorical purposes only and in no way imply that you need to answer.)


As for the compulsive punning, I have spoken of it once before, and it is a kind of brain disorder called Foerster’s Syndrome that I self-diagnosed years ago. I have been self-diagnosing for years and have experienced multiple medical miracles along with bouts of alliteration in which I have been healed of life-threatening diseases of the nervous system, the digestive system, and for a short time, the bubonic plague, all without any medical intervention whatsoever. My baffled doctors attributed my symptoms to indigestion and the common cold. As if. No doubt there’s a connection between their bafflement and lack of chocolate.


All I’m asking for is a little compassion, friend, if and when I publish a post full of puns, even if it’s tomorrow.