A dubious legacy that will follow me for the rest of my days has its basis in this blog post. It has caused those deliberately subjected to its content by my actions, over the span of seven months, a mix of pain and disappointment. Some claim to have actually enjoyed them, but there are a few warped people in every group.

I presented puns to a group just prior to lectures from October 2007 until May 2008 as chair of a program called Learning Activities for Mature People (LAMP), one of the continuing education programs within the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, at the University of Texas at Austin.

Here's an example of the short and simple puns I like. They're easier to remember than long, intricately constructed puns.

Here’s an example of the short and simple puns I like. They’re easier to remember than long, intricately constructed puns. (Source.)

Shockingly, I had the gall to collect all those puns over that academic year and send them by email to this 500-member group in the early morning of my last day as chair on May 1, 2008. A few members had checked their email before leaving for campus that morning and expressed some surprise, which I tried to interpret as delight, at receiving all those puns.

Following is the substance of that email, or lack of substance, depending on the perceiver.


Pun-ishment for LAMP Members, 2007-2008

Members of UT LAMP in 2007-2008 have been lulled into thinking that they only have one more pun to go on the final day of the academic year, May 1, 2008. But no! A surprising number of LAMPers (I think it was two or three) requested a copy of the puns used at the start of the 9:30 a.m. presentations. So, in one of my final acts of pun-ishment as Chair of LAMP, I’m sending all of you the puns that I’ve used from the podium this past year.

The puns below are not necessarily in the order that I actually used them during the year. Sometimes I made a last-minute change in the pun used in an effort to fit the moment. At other times I used a pun that someone gave me in the hallway, and I’ve tried to insert them in this list at roughly the time of year that I used them. I was told that I botched some of those puns, but I’ve gone back to those LAMPers and asked for their puns in writing, which I have included below.

So enjoy, groan, cringe, or delete as you see fit. If you have children or grandchildren that you need to get even with for some past misdeed, pun-ish them by sending these puns to them. They’ll know you mean business!

–Earl Russell

LAMP Chair, 2007-2008


* The roundest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference.

* To write with a broken pencil is pointless.

* When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate.

* The short fortuneteller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

* A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.

* A thief fell and broke his leg in wet cement. He became a hardened criminal.

* Thieves who steal corn from a garden could be charged with stalking.

* We’ll never run out of math teachers because they always multiply.

* When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U C L A.

*What instrument plays a foot note? A shoe horn!
* The math professor went crazy with the blackboard. She did a number on it.

* The professor discovered that his theory of earthquakes was on shaky ground.

* The dead batteries were given out free of charge.

*A photo in the paper showed many lines of cabs at the Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport. They were yellow rows of taxis.

* If you take a laptop computer for a run you could jog your memory.

* A dentist and a manicurist fought tooth and nail.

* What’s the definition of a will?  It’s a dead giveaway.

* A bicycle can’t stand alone; it is two tired.

* A backward poet writes inverse.

* A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.

* If you don’t pay your exorcist you get repossessed.

* Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can’t have your kayak and heat it too.

* Show me a piano falling down a mineshaft and I’ll show you A-flat miner.

* The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.

* You are stuck with your debt if you can’t budge it.

* He broke into song because he couldn’t find the key.

* A calendar’s days are numbered.

* A boiled egg is hard to beat.

* A plateau is a high form of flattery.

* When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she’d dye.

* Acupuncture: a jab well done.

* I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.

* Police were called to a day-care where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.

* Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He’s all right now.

*What lies at the bottom of the ocean and twitches? A nervous wreck.

*The coffee that was served on the Titanic was Sanka.

*A row of rabbits walking backwards is a receding hare line.
*Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love and got married. The ceremony wasn’t much, but the reception was excellent.

*A man walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm and says: “A beer please, and one for the road.”

*Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other: “Does this taste funny to you?”

*An invisible man marries an invisible woman. The kids were nothing to look at either.

* Californians are not without their faults.

*When hair dye was first packaged for home use, it really got to the root of the problem.

*From the Family Tree of Vincent Van Gogh: (used for three days)

His dizzy aunt——————————————Verti Gogh
The brother who worked at a convenience store ———-Stop n Gogh

The nephew who drove a stagecoach——————- Wells-far Gogh

*A jumper cable walks into a bar. The bartender says, “I’ll serve you, but don’t start anything.”

*A lady had two dogs named Timex and Rolex. They were watchdogs.

*Why didn’t they play cards on the Ark?  Because Noah was standing on the deck.

Enough pun-ishment for one year! Have a great summer!


So that is the part of my legacy mentioned at the start. Probably I’ll never live it down. A few people tell me each year, almost fondly, that they recently  came across that collection of puns. Some have sent them to family members and friends. Others still send me puns, which I have been adding to a continually-growing collection. 

To my surprise, more people than I would have guessed like the kind of pun-ishment I dished out that year. Some sadistic ones still ask for more. 

Now with this post, my sadistic nature comes out again. Sorry about that.