The pun within the pun

From a chain of Facebook friends, this Dan Thompson Brevity cartoon:


The outside (perfect) pun: Gallos’ humor / gallows humor (which depends on your knowing about the Gallo brothers and also the concept of gallows humor). The inside, Ernest and Julio, (imperfect) pun: Bordeaux (wine) / border (collie) (which depends on your knowing about both the wines and the dogs).

Background for the outside pun. From Wikipedia:

(#2) Ernest and Julio Gallo

E & J Gallo Winery is a winery and distributor headquartered in Modesto, California. It was founded in 1933 by Ernest Gallo and Julio Gallo, and is the largest exporter of California wines.

And, also from Wikipedia:

(#3) David Wade Evans (literal) gallows humor

Gallows humor is humor about very unpleasant, serious, or painful circumstances. Any humor that treats serious matters, such as death, war, disease, and crime, in a light, silly or satirical fashion is considered gallows humor. Gallows humor has been described as a witticism in response to a hopeless situation. It arises from stressful, traumatic, or life-threatening situations, often in circumstances such that death is perceived as impending and unavoidable.

On the strip Morbid Holiday:

Morbid Holiday features offbeat drawings, comic, and cartoons.

… Using sarcasm, irony, humor, and satire, many topics are covered, though there will often be a focus on pop culture, memes, the internet, technology, music, movies, relationships, and good old daily life.

Morbid Holiday is the creation of artist, musician, and game developer David Wade Evans. (link)

The outside pun would be especially delicious if it managed to have the Gallo wine world and the domain of gallows humor intersect (by, say, having grape vines strangling Julio to death).

Background for the inside pun. The link between the outside pun and the inside pun is the Bordeaux wine. From Wikipedia:

A Bordeaux wine is any wine produced in the Bordeaux region of southwest France, centered on the city of Bordeaux and covering the whole area of the Gironde department, with a total vineyard area of over 120,000 hectares, making it the largest wine growing area in France.

… Red Bordeaux [called claret in the UK] is generally made from a blend of grapes. Permitted grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and rarely Carménère…

As a very broad generalization, Cabernet Sauvignon (Bordeaux’s second-most planted grape variety) dominates the blend in red wines produced in the Médoc and the rest of the left bank of the Gironde estuary. Typical top-quality Châteaux blends are 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc and 15% Merlot. This is typically referred to as the “Bordeaux Blend.” Merlot tends to predominate in Saint-Émilion, Pomerol and the other right bank appellations. These Right Bank blends from top-quality Châteaux are typically 70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Meanwhile, in California, the Gallo wineries produce great quantites of Cabernet Sauvignon (some at the high end of the market) and Merlot (mostly for a mass market).

Then, border collies. For discussion, see my 4/28/17 posting with a Bizarro cartoon, “Doctors Without Border Collies”, and with photos (#6, #7).

As for the phonological relationship, in AmE Bordeaux and border share the initial segmental content /bɔrd/, but have different accent patterns and different rhyme portions in the second syllable: /ˌbɔrˈdo/ vs. /ˈbɔrdǝr/. Close enough to make the pun work, especially with the wine context for the first word and the ___ collie context for the second.


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