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Features

  • Some things in life are so enjoyable you hope they linger forever. Other things, you hope disappear faster than they came, like relatives during the holidays. Why is it they come in faster than they go out?

    Don't get me wrong. I love my relatives. But I love them more from a distance, which is why we have Facebook. On Facebook, you can get off whenever you want to. However, when the relative is sitting in your living room on your favorite easy chair there is no place for you to go.

  • Recently we saw record cold temperatures here in Ocala, record snowstorms in the northeast, and huge mudslides in California; all followed by flooding as far away as Australia. It was enough to drive many to excessive drinking. Now that they have sobered up, their tales have made it to Pun Alley.

    Voices

  • A friend of mine has a saying, “I’m going to get as old as I possibly can get.” From what I can tell, he has. I must agree with his sentiment. Of course, the alternative is … well you know. Another friend of mine likes to tell me, “Brother, you’re only as old as you feel.” I am not sure how old feels or if wrinkles are involved. But, I am feeling quite fine, thank you.

    Just the other day the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage came in from her workshop, sat down on the couch and said, “Whew, I feel like a hundred.”

  • This last Tuesday the Master The Possibilities Education Center at OTOW offered an “Alpine Skiing for Floridians” course for those who head north to ski. Pun Alley continues with some punny help for the ski students. Also, we can’t ignore stories coming from the blizzard that crippled the eastern U.S. last month. The icy tales all go downhill from here.

    Not uplifting

    The concierge at a posh ski resort was often asked about the ski facilities. One day, a couple that had just checked in after a long flight came by and asked where the lift was.

  • (Written in honor of Martin Luther King Day, 2011)

  • On Sunday, Jan. 9, the Ocala Symphony Orchestra and the Appleton Museum of Art will launch their new SoundArt series of music and art at the Museum.

  • If anybody believes in “do-over,” it is Yours Truly. This stems back to my pre-adult days littered with carefreeness and fun of all sizes and shapes. At that time, my whole life revolved around games. I was part of that unfortunate generation that had to make up their own games, as we were not privileged to have video games, iPods and Blueberries. Although I did enjoy a freshly baked blueberry pie with two scoops of ice cream whenever the opportunity presented itself.

  • Today marks the end of Celebration of Life Week, sponsored and promoted by the International Society of Friendship and Good Will. After the festivities of the holidays and the letdown of returning to work, take time to be joyful and celebrate life. I hope you’ll like some of today’s Pun Alley stories.

    Best wishes?

    This guy was walking along the beach when he came across an old oil lamp. When he buffed it a genie appeared. The genie was so happy to be freed of the lamp that he granted the guy three wishes.

  • Christmas is over, now it’s time for New Year’s

    Christmas was over. Finally at the North Pole Santa and his reindeer got time for a rest. This gave Rudolph a chance to do something he had wanted for a long time. He made an appointment with a plastic surgeon because he was so sensitive about his long ears which were much more prominent than the ears of the other reindeers.

  • It’s the New Year and no doubt many of us have made New Year’s resolutions. Some of these resolutions may be in the form of being better to our bodies and striving for better health. You need only look past the Christmas sales to see the ads for fitness equipment, active wear and gym memberships. But before you run out to join a gym, I have another way to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and improve memory.

  • Tonight is Christmas Eve. By now your shopping should be over and parents and grandparents worn to a frazzle. While kids anxiously await the arrival of Santa Claus, take a break, relax and wander down Pun Alley for some punny stories.

    A kid’s vision

    A youngster drew a Christmas scene that showed Santa, sleigh and reindeer. There were the regular eight and Rudolph plus a strange looking tenth animal. The addition looked like a cross between a reindeer and a cow with a green nose. The youngster explained that it was Olive, the udder reindeer.

  • Each holiday season, those who exercise, at Curves in Jasmine Plaza are asked to help others.

    Most years they collect food, but this year they did something different.

    Hearing Peggy Bradshaw, owner of the neighboring businesses 2nd Chance Consignment Shop, telling other business owners at the West Marion Business Association that she was collecting coats to give to the homeless, Curves owner Sue Minicozzi decided they would help.

     “Almost everyone has a coat in their closet they’re not using,” said Minicozzi.

  • With the holiday season approaching it’s a time when many groups and clubs celebrate by eating out at one of the many busy Ocala restaurants. It’s also a time when the waiters, now often referred to as servers, can be harried by customers who expect immediate service and endlessly complain. Perhaps the following stories can be considered as worthy replies to these unreasonable customers.

    Waiter, what’s this fly doing in my soup? Looks like the breaststroke to me, sir.

  • Africa. The very name conjures up mystery, exploration, exotic animals and the Jewish state. While Israel may seem like a non sequitur in reference to the Dark Continent, in an ironic turn of events, the Jews almost had a country in Kenya and while that never came to fruition, the history of the Jews in Kenya and its relations with the African country makes for a fascinating historical study.

  • It’s a few days after Christmas,the grandchildren are still with us for the holidays and their new toys have lost their novelty. What can we do to keep ‘em occupied and happy?

  • According to the Internet site, Bizarre, Crazy, Silly Unknown Holidays, this month is Aviation History Month, so we take Pun Alley into the air with some uplifting tales beginning in the early days and flying into the modern age.

    Back when flying was still a novelty, pilots with open seat airplanes would show up at county fairs and take people up for $10. One such pilot, Frank, was waiting for customers when he saw Phyllis, a large overbearing woman, berating her husband Wayne, a small almost midget fellow, about how $10 was too much to pay.

  • Aloha!

    The word means “to share the breath.”

    We can get very stressed out at this time of year. Anxiety levels increase; blood pressure surges and our stress hormones go ballistic. We’re blessed that this body breathes automatically. We’re even more fortunate when we learn that we can take conscious control of our breathing. Imagine! Just by extending the exhalation, you can lower blood pressure. Of course, it takes practice, and with consistency, you will realize benefits that are palpable.

  • To talk about simplicity at this time of year is probably the most absurd notion. However, if we want to arrive at the day after Thanksgiving without feeling overextended and overstuffed, this is the very time to pause and take stock of exactly what it is we are trying to achieve.

     

    With each approaching day, the pressure builds as we get caught up in the luncheons, parties, visiting and shopping. Surely there is something on our “to do” list that we can eliminate, maybe even some calories along the way.

  • The other day I went to buy a little decoration for a Thanksgiving package I was bringing to a friend. To my surprise, (and maybe I shouldn’t have been) there were no Thanksgiving stickers or ornaments left. I was vaguely referred to the 70 percent off display which only had a few shopworn turkeys, some baskets and a worn out sign that read, “Give thanks,” aptly made in China, of course.

  • Several weeks ago I spoke at an Oak Run Friends of the Library meeting about writing Pun Alley and on humorous material. One of the things I mentioned is that my searches for material often find the same jokes rewritten to fit different occasions. To demonstrate this, I asked the audience for two occupations. They called out fireman and butcher, which I used in the following story.

    Three firemen and three butchers were traveling by train to a union meeting. At the station, the three butchers each bought tickets and watched as the three firemen bought only a single ticket.