Who can resist a pun, intended or unintended? Not me, certainly. I am married to someone who is exceptional at rolling out puns on a daily basis on practically every occasion and is pretty good with parodies. I originally meant to write a parenting post for P, or even about Prayer, but while walking on my terrace today and laughing my head off with Sury and Vidur piling on the puns, I thought – on Day 16 of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, why not P for puns and parodies?
For the uninitiated, a pun is a correct expression that refers to another expression that may or may not be correct and is often hilarious. Invariably there is a double entendre. It involves the humorous use of a word suggestive of two or more meanings of the word or another word that sounds the same. There is a deliberate confusion of similar words and phrases. I won’t get into the different types of puns!
Here are some fine examples:
The roundest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Conference. He acquired his size from too much pi.
She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.
A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.
The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.
No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery.
What’s the definition of a will? (It’s a dead giveaway).
Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other, ‘You stay here; I’ll go on a head..’
I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.
A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: ‘Keep off the Grass.’
See what I mean? Nothing like some good wordplay to get the adrenalin up, eh?
A parody or spoof is intended to make fun of an original work with humor and satire.
Puns and parodies have been around since ancient times and some of the most famous writers have used them.
Now, I am sharing one of Sury’s pun and parody pieces that appeared in The Statesman, Calcutta. Think Perry Mason.
Mason makes noose!
Plumby Mason’s confidential secretary Dalala Street who held a big share of his responsibilities at the office said, “Lt.Drag is on the phone, chief.”
The face that turned towards the trusted assistant was flushed with deep thought and its chiselled features were granite hard in concentration, and unquestionably belonged to Plumby Mason.
“Yes, Drag?” he said over the telephone.
The slow drone of Drag’s voice pulled him out of his reverie. “Are you free Mason? I want to see you urgently. Actually, I need
“YOU need MY help! Well, well! Sure, come along to my office. I can give you six and a half minutes plus a ride in the elevator.”
Mason replaced the receiver on its cradle.
“Hang it Dalala! Why would Drag want my help? Call up Tall Fake and ask him to step down for a minute.”
Tall Fake was Mason’s highly trusted, long-limbed sidekick who suitably humoured Mason’s ego and assisted him otherwise by leading the police on all sorts of false trails. As soon as Fake’s code jingle was heard through the ventilator, Dalala let him in. Not counting the charwoman and the author, this jingle was known only to the three of them, and it went like this:
“Soon as I heard that voice so sweet
I knew it must be Dalala Street.
Here I come, here I hasten
at the behest of Plumby Mason.
My first is Tall, the second Fake;
if you don’t play ball, go jump in the lake.”
“Lallapalloosa” said Fake seating his main frame on the big study table with the PC. Fake moved in a loose-jointed manner and his favourite way of relaxing was to rest his hands on the console, the small of his back on a couple of paperweights, tying his long legs twice around diagonally opposite legs of the table, after having removed and placed his shoes on the big overstuffed sofa.
“Hi Dalala! Hiya Plumby! What is cooking?”
Plumby described simple harmonic motion as was his wont (as well as his will) while deep in thought. “I don’t know for certain. Drag wants my help for some reason. I expect, it is about the Prime Minister’s visit to us. You remember that the PM was carrying some secret document when he came to consult me. But, just at our doorstep, someone attacked him and snatched the document – which, I gather, was a microfilm – away. I did manage to lasso the culprit but he seems to have passed the papers on to some crony somehow. It is a pity that the lasso strangled him to death. Otherwise, we might have forced the truth out of him. Unfortunately, the PM has not been able to disclose as yet how he had hidden the valuable film. Now, when Drag comes, you peep through the key-hole and watch his expression. If he…..”
He was hurriedly interrupted by Skirty, his switch-bored operator. “Mr.Mason, Lt.Drag is coming in. He wouldn’t wait.”
“Hullo Mason and Dalala! Hi Fake!” greeted Drag coming in and seating himself. Tall Fake unwound himself, looked at his watch, yawned and said, “I guess this is where I go out.”
“Bad business this, Mason. Can you tell me exactly what happened during the Prime Minister’s visit? Let me give you a friendly tip that the D.A is not quite happy about the death of the culprit. As I understand it, you tried to lasso him and his neck got stuck in the noose by accident. It is not clear how he ties in with all of this. The only identification we found on him was a card which gives his name to be a Mr. Sale Sman hailing from Tough Lux, Au Revoir.”
Mason’s leonine features were suffused with an extra large frown of concentration. He smoothed his mane, brushed his whiskers and told his tail ..oops, tale.
“The PM called me up on the telephone and an appointment was fixed for 826 BC. Miss Street met him on the side lane and escorted him
in. Simultaneously, the culprit, who, incidentally, is unknown to me, also tried to enter. The resulting crash brought both of them down.
It was immediately obvious to me that the rascal was an international spy. So, I made a lasso by pulling out my telephone wire and threw the (telephone) book at him, flinging the lasso at the same time.
I didn’t know that the lasso would wring his neck through the collar on account of being made from telephone wire. I saw that the
Prime Minister had hit his head on the Cabinet and had passed out. Since the Prime Minister was also bleeding a little, I administered
to him at once.
I, Plumby Mason, repaired the leak, that is, stopped the bleeding entirely on my own. He soon recovered consciousness and faintly smiled at me when he suddenly stiffened. “The Microfilm! The Microfilm! It is gone!” That was all he could say when he came to a full stop and went into a coma. But, I heard that with the help of an injection of apostrophe’ and a dose of colons, the doctors have nearly managed to invert his coma. This is all I know. And yes, I got my telephone fixed again.”
“Thanks Mason. let me know if anything Concrete develops. As of now, the whole issue is shrouded in mystery” said Drag and ambled off.
“I guess that is that. This is the first mystery that I couldn’t plumb the depths of. I give up. Let us go, have dinner” said Mason locking up the office. Mason, Street, Fake and Skirty called it a day and went off to the corner drugstore to have burgers with bicarbonate of soda.
Next morning saw Mason promptly at his office at nine. It did not occur to him that among the contents of the waste-paper basket so assiduously emptied out by the charwoman, might be a Prime Minister’s starched handkerchief slightly smeared with blood. Meanwhile, the handkerchief seemed to shrivel in disgust at the mountains of garbage around it. I prefer to think that it was trying to hide its secret well.
So much pun eh? I mean fun!
I also recommend this post “Old Script or New Script” by Corinne at Everyday Gyaan. It is beautiful!