• Candy corn and other candy packages have taken over an entire aisle and customs fill up most of another aisle in the stores. Wispy appearances of ghosts, globins, and witches seem to be permeating the area.
    With Halloween this coming Monday, Pun Alley can’t resist going there for some haunts and ghostly stories.
    Actually, “Halloween” is a distortion of its original name. A long ago butcher tradition was to give customers empty sausage skins at the end of October. This day was known as Hollow Weenie Day.

    Frankly Frankenstein

  • Is it just me, or do others have trouble catching up? Just when it looks like I am almost caught up with some project or my to-do-list, something happens setting me back a few paces. One step forward, as they say and for me 17 steps backward. Or, so it seems.
    I don’t have any problem whatsoever catching a cold. I once even caught a fly in my mouth while preaching, and it is as easy as New York style cheesecake to catch the dickens from the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Catching up is another matter all together.

  • On this day in 1783 Pilâtre de Rozier made a free flight in a balloon, reaching a peak altitude of about 3,000 feet and traveling over 5 miles in 20 minutes. Pun Alley celebrates with its own hot air to raise some balloons and hopefully some smiles.

    A man flying in a hot air balloon was lost. When he spotted a man below, he lowered the balloon and shouted, “Excuse me, can you tell me where I am?”
    The man below said, “Yes, you’re in a hot air balloon, hovering thirty feet above this field.”

  • Storm clouds were brewing like fresh morning coffee in the normally placid parsonage this past week. I will not say that things got out of hand, which is not to say they did not. I just will not say.
    I sensed a growing controversy between my wife and myself. Its genesis came about because of some silly mix-up, I assure you. Usually, mix-ups come about because of some misunderstanding and boy, do I sure miss my understanding. I have misplaced mine for so long I honestly cannot remember when I had it last.

  • On October weekends two local farms are presenting fun activities for children and adults, offering mazes where you can explore through pathways in the cornfields, as well as farm train rides, pony rides, music and other activities.
    Here in Pun Alley we don’t have a corn maze, but rather amazing corn.
    I’m reading a murder mystery where they bury the guy in cornstarch. I just got to the part where the plot thickens.
    Where did the first corn come from? The stalk brought it.

  • When I was teaching Jewish religious school, my synagogue had a box next to the copy machine we called “shames,” Yiddish for “shemot” or “names.” In this case, the “names” meant the names we Jews have for God and it was the custom that if we ran off copies of prayers that were extras and they contained the name of God in Hebrew in any form, we were to put these papers in the shames box for proper disposal. I even brought some of my classes in to see this box to show them the respect Jews have for sacred writings.

  • I was sitting in a restaurant on a Friday afternoon enjoying a leisurely repast with some friends. Somewhere in the middle of our conversation, my cell phone went off. Without even thinking about it, I reached into my shirt pocket, pulled it out and answered it.
    It was then I was struck with an awful thought. I am now a child of this contemporary technological world. I never thought I would succumb to this sort of thing. But here I am; I’m not the man I used to be, and I’m not even sure I’m the man I want to be.

  • Christopher Columbus may have been the greatest politician of all time. He left not knowing where he was going, and when he got there he did not know where he was.
    While there he decimated the well being of the majority of the population. He returned not knowing where he had been, and did it all on someone else’s money. Today’s politicians are trying to outdo him. Nevertheless, on Monday we celebrate Columbus Day.

  • I have read of people who testified to the fact that they have had an out-of-body experience. After meeting some of these people I can understand why they would want to abandon their body if only for a moment. My question is, why did they return? Whether this was a real experience or not, only their hairdresser knows for sure.
    I have made it one of the primary purposes of my life to stay in my body as long as I live. In fact, I have so developed my body so that there is ample room for my La-Z-Boy chair and me. I like to be comfortable.

  •  Scrumptious! Delicious! Succulent! Mouth-Watering! These were some of the words that were used to describe the barbecued baby rack ribs that the Rotary Club of Ocala Southwest offered to the community last April. Before cooking, the ribs undergo a dry rub, imparting a flavor that can only be described as heavenly. Rotary President Herb Silverman says that the ingredients of the savory dry rub are a secret that’s as closely guarded as the Coca Cola recipe. You’ll need to eat the Rotary’s baby back ribs to experience the great taste.

  • It arrived the other day. Very, innocuous looking white envelope, the kind we call a #10. Plain black block lettering with my name on in: Judith C. Siegal. It was official all right; nobody calls me Judith except doctors who don’t know me well. The contents struck a chord with me because it has to do with a landmark age-related rite of passage.

  • I must be the only one in this world of ours that truly appreciates quietness. Maybe it’s old-age stomping its tired old boots, but I think the world has gotten just a little bit noisier. As I got older, I thought my hearing would begin to diminish. I assure you, I am hearing more today than I have ever wanted to hear in all my life.
    I remember my grandfather and his hearing aid. When there was a family gathering and he was sitting quietly smiling, I came to understand he had turned his hearing aid off. How I envy him now. If only I could turn my hearing aid off.

  • Yesterday was National Coffee Day. I was out celebrating the whole day drinking coffee at restaurants and coffee shops while keeping my ears cocked to find material for today’s Pun Alley. When I finally came home really wide-awake my wife asked if I would be able sleep after so much coffee.
    I said, “It’s no problem; I’ve done this before. I count until three and then I sleep.”
    “And that works?” she asked.
    “No, sometimes, I count until half past three.”

    Divorce liquidity

  • Fall is coming. Actually a lot of falls have just started and more are coming. Football season has started with college, high school, and exhibition professional games already being played for several weeks.
    Follow the ball as it gets passed down Pun Alley’s own football field. We make it through the goal posts and sometimes the pun police throw the flag.

    Backfield in motion

  • It is 5772 (well, almost!) and in a few days, Jews all over the world will be ushering in a New Year. This year, the holidays come later (last year Rosh Hashanah was two days after Labor Day) and the first day of the New Year is actually in the seventh month of the year! How can this be? And how can this be 5772 when most calendars record the year as 2011? The answers to these questions lie in the calculation of the Jewish calendar and its fascinating history.

  • As I was listening to the president give his speech on the country’s economy last week I was simultaneously trying to balance my checkbook. Math was never my strong suit. In fact, when it comes to math, I do not wear a suit at all. I would wear my birthday suit but it is too wrinkled and believe me, spandex is stretching it too much.
    Oddly enough, my checkbook balance is never the same as the balance on the statement from the bank. My bank’s haughty assumption is that they are right and I am wrong.

  • The Rotary Club of Ocala, the city’s longest established Rotary Club (chartered in 1919) has recognized this opportunity to help the children of Ocala and has agreed to partner with the city of Ocala to provide the funds that will be used to provide physical and program improvements to the Discovery Science Center at 701 N.E. Sanchez Ave.
     Plans include installing an elevator in the building to facilitate access to the 2nd floor and to redesign the 2nd floor as a science hall that will have traveling exhibits as well as meeting and classroom space.

  • In marking the 10th anniversary of one of the most horrific events in the history of the United States, one cannot help but reflect back on the past decade. We have come a long way, but I am wondering if we have gone the right way.
    My wife and I were thinking about this the other night and she startled me with a question. Most of the time she just startles me, but this time she had substance in the form of a question.
    “I wonder,” she said rather thoughtfully, “where all the heroes are today?”

  • In 1978 Congress passed legislation proclaiming the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. The day’s purpose is to honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children, and to help children become aware of strength, information, and guidance older people can offer.
    Wandering through Pun Alley we run into some funny stories that go along with being grandparents and make us glad we can turn the little darlin’s back to their parents after a day or two.
    College Pedigree