Puns are fun. Yeah, I’m a fan. In fact, you could call me Tony Punderburk, and I wouldn’t be upset. My name has been butchered way worse than that.
But not everybody thinks puns are fun.
But those who don’t are almost always the ones whose sense of humor lives in public bathrooms.
I remember a discussion I had, back in my full-time musician days. A couple of us talked as we set up to play for an evening crowd in Denver. And I made a pun about something. Don’t even remember what it was. But a guy who had come along to help set up the gear said, “Ooh, a pun! Those are the lowest form of humor.”
I immediately replied, “I guess if you leave out dirty words and vulgar jokes about women, different races or ethnic groups, body parts, and bathroom humor…maybe you’ve got a point.”
He didn’t have a comeback. And he just gave me one of those “drop dead” looks.
And I wondered, “Why would a clean play on words ever be considered low humor.”
Most people don’t seem to have a problem being told what foods are good. But they hate being told what words and ideas are good. In fact, it’s difficult to even get a consensus on what “good” is anymore. So, these days, it’s whatever is right in your own mind.
Trouble with that is…a lot of people are clueless about what’s right.
Wholesome words are a good place to start.
If you know a lazy-talkin’-foul-mouth who thinks (or says) “You can’t tell me what to say or think,” ask them (or better yet, tell them) to take it somewhere else. And say something like,
“Your words come off public bathroom walls, and I don’t want that filth around me.”
And here’s a suggestion I had, several years ago, for people like that.
“Consider trying something different today. Look up a word (or two or three), that you don’t understand. And discover what it means and where it originated. Then, see what kind of ideas pop into your head. I promise ideas WILL pop into your head. And when something less wholesome pops in there, focus more on your new ideas. Guess what’ll happen when you do this on a regular basis. You’ll become an idea person. And you’ll be able to rise above the dirty jokes and curse words. You’ll find you no longer need them to feel strong. Because your ideas will strengthen you.”
It works. But only when you work at it.
And, on that note, I meant it when I said I think puns are fun. Maybe this whole thing about ideas has reminded you of some. If so, send me your favorite. If it’s clean (and it better be), I’ll share it.
Here are some words I shared, a few years back, to express the idea about ideas. And if it sounds like it was written for kids, here’s why. Because I wrote it to get kids interested in writing.
Open Your Head
Open your head.
Pour words right in.
Then shake your head
And let ’em spin.
They’ll bubble up
Like polka dots
Into some bright
And bouncing thoughts.
Just let them float,
And let them grow.
When they’re just right,
You’ll let them go
Live on a page
Where they’ll be read
And poured into
© 2013 Tony Funderburk
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