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The Fun of the Pun

Trey Reely | November 2009

    My second love after music is reading. Fortunately for me, the two often converge in a harmonious relationship because music has found its way into everyday language. I don’t like to toot my own horn or trumpet my accomplishments, but words with musical origins are music to my ears, so I hope you’ll face the music and jump on the bandwagon as I pull out all the stops and harp about various phrases that could beat the band.
    I hope to drum up some enthusiasm as I sing the praises of various words and phrases with musical origins. I encourage you to e-mail me sometime to chime in with some musical words and phrases of your own – I wouldn’t want you to play second fiddle to anyone. There’s no reason to commit at this point, you can just play it by ear.
    I’m not going to soft-pedal anything – I love puns, and music lends itself to some awesome puns. Although some consider puns the lowest form of humor, I regard them as unsung heroes. Don’t shoot the piano player, I’m just telling it like it is. The pun, as fit as a fiddle, will be around for a long time. As they say, the opera isn’t over until the fat lady sings, and I don’t hear her singing taps any time soon.
    Many of the best puns have musical origins. Here are some of my favorites:
     One of the greatest men in history was Mahatma Gandhi. Often sparing himself the simplest of pleasures, he frequently went around bare-footed. Moreover, he ate so little that he developed delicate health and bad breath. The result was a super-callused fragile mystic plagued by halitosis.
    A Russian named Rudolph the Red was looking out the back window of his house. He told his wife that he believed it was about to rain. She disagreed with him, and a furious argument ensued until Rudolph ended it by screaming, “Rudolph the Red knows rain, dear!”
    Cowboy singer Roy Rogers took a bath in a creek, leaving his new boots on the bank. Along came a cougar and, attracted by the smell of the leather on Roy’s new boots, the animal began to nibble on them. Dale Evans arrived, noticed the cougar chewing on her husband’s new boots, and fired a shot in the air. Then she turned to Roy and asked, “Pardon me Roy, was that the cat that chewed your new shoe?”
    If you hate puns and think this column is bad, please don’t complain to the editor. I’d hate to get drummed out with this article as my swan song. I’ll try to write a better column next month. After all, practice makes perfect.