Pun Alley 03-25-2011

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Celebrating a milestone

By Dick Frank

Today’s Pun Alley is my 200th issue. While a milestone for me, it pales in comparison to the work done by Tom Lazarick, the original Pun Alley writer. In the mid-90s when editor Jim Hunter started the Citizen, Tom wrote the Pine Run news and included puns pretty much from the beginning.

Jim encouraged Tom to start Pun Alley partly because of the puns he’d included in the Pine Run column. Tom, a retired pharmacist, had a dry sense of humor and was a student of the pun. For some reason, the name Pun Alley was inspired by the classic comic strip, Gasoline Alley.

Tom relied on material forwarded to him by relatives and friends throughout the country. Not all “forwards” were puns, the jokes were funny, and that’s all that mattered. The tradition of printing both puns and jokes continues to this day.

In 2005 I became the summer replacement punster while Tom took a well-deserved vacation. After that summer, my columns filled in whenever needed. When Tom passed away in 2007, I inherited the Alley. Originally I followed his way of running the column by asking for readers to contribute. But it didn’t work for me because almost all of what I received was from the Internet and was material I had already seen. Later I started doing my own thing of having a theme each week, which also rules out trying to include readers’ contributions.

Jane and I had moved to Oak Run in 1999 and I had immediately become a fan of Tom’s writings. I feel honored to be able to carry on his fun. I know that if it hadn’t been for him, there would be no Pun Alley.

Appropriately, today’s Pun Alley has some humor about the perils of writers.


A newspaperman, on a tour of rural Africa, was captured by a tribe of cannibals and prepared for the inevitable feast. He asked to see the chief and told him that, since a big newspaper employed him, there would be serious consequences if he were roasted alive.

The chief asked him what his job was on the paper.

“I am an assistant editor,” replied the newspaperman.

“Well,” said the chief, “you will soon be promoted to editor-in-chief.

Not OK

A fellow had completed his purchases and the clerk, in filling out the sales slip, asked, “What is the name, please?”

“Jepson,” the customer replied.


“No. Jepson. Sixteen twenty-one West-.”

“Your first initial, please.”

“Oh, K.”

“O.K. Jepson.”

“Excuse me, it isn’t O.K. You didn’t understand; I said ‘Oh.’’’

“O Jepson.”

“No. Rub out the O and let the K stand.”

The clerk asked, “Will you please give me your initials again?”

“I said K.”

“Pardon, you said O.K.”

I said “Oh.”

“Just now you said K.”

“I said ‘Oh’ because I didn’t understand what you were asking. My name is Kirby Jepson. Give me the pencil and I’ll write it myself. There, I guess it’s O.K. now.”

Short stories

Forgers are always ready to write a wrong.

Autobiography is fiction written by the one who knows the facts.

John tried to write a drinking song, but he didn’t make it past the first two bars.

Author: “I once got ten dollars a word.”

Editor: “Hmm! How was that?”

Author: “I talked back to the judge.”

The trouble with being able to read a woman like a book is that you are liable to forget your place.

Book learning

A nameless editor said that when he was a young kid he used to put books inside of his trousers whenever he felt that he was soon to get a good spanking. At that time he had learned the advantage of a literary background.


To make sure the newspaper got out in time, the management provided trays of snacks for city desk reporters and staff. One morning, as he was just getting ready to start on his last article, a hungry editor turned to a reporter and asked if there was any food left. “Yeah, I think there’s a piece of cake left, but it’s not for you.”

“Why not?” asked the editor.

“Because you can’t have your cake and edit, too!”

Dick and his wife Jane live in Oak Run.