Archive for the ‘Puns’ Category

The grand jury’s cough drop

August 18, 2023

The political / medicinal pun RICO Law / Ricola: on Facebook on 8/15, Kyle Wohlmut passed along  — “meanwhile in Switzerland” — the 8/14 Mike Scollins titling RICO LAW of an image from the classic Ricola (Swiss cough drop) commercial:

Posted within minutes of the Georgia RICO indictments (see below)

Now to the commercially medicinal and the political-conspiratorial.


The sourdough self-starter

August 12, 2023

The Rhymes With Orange strip of 5/9/21, with a play on two senses of self-starting (and self-starter):

(#1) The strip illustrates the noun self-starter, very roughly ‘an independent go-getter’, which has a derivative adjective self-starting; but the strip is about making sourdoughs, which come in two types, the first of which is said to be self-starting (in its fermentation), while the other type needs a push from baker’s yeast to ferment properly

So: a kind of pun — indeed the best sort of pun, in which the meanings of both of the expressions involved (whether homophones, as with self-starter (and self-starting) here; or merely near-homophones, in “imperfect puns”) apply to the situation in the joke or cartoon. In #1, the sourdough is a self-starter both in the go-getter sense (through the miracle of personification, in which the dough is a human-like being) and, since no yeast is required, also in the self-starting sense.


Penal Grigio, the big house brew

August 11, 2023

Today’s Wayno / Piraro Bizarro (Wayno’s title: Big House Brew — an alternative would have been Big House Hooch), with an outrageous pun on Pinot Grigio:

(#1) A vintage cellmate (if you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are in this strip — see this Page)

The model is the wine noun Pinot /pínò/, the pun is the prison adjective penal /pínǝl/: pretty close in sound, worlds apart in meaning (which is what makes the pun outrageous).


Brief shot: cock time

August 3, 2023

(Obviously unsuitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

cock time, an atrocious pun on clock time, from the Tumblr gallery of penis4u: a very substantial, fully erect penis wearing a (sturdily masculine) watch. In the hope of getting the image on WordPress (it is transparently NSFW and certainly not acceptable on Facebook), I have cropped the photo so that it shows only a few inches of shaft — which might as well be a piece of light colored wood.


The Marquis de Sad

July 29, 2023

(Innocent posting until I get to Pasolini’s Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, a section that is absolutely not for kids or the sexually modest. I’ll issue a warning when it’s coming up.)

Today’s Wayno / Piraro Bizarro, a Psychiatrist cartoon with, on the couch, a Marquis de Sade who no longer can no longer find pleasure in blasphemy and cruelty:

(#1) Yes, a terrible pun, with sad for the model Sade (if you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 6 in this strip — see this Page)

Note that the therapist matches the Marquis in period costume, including a wig and the use of a quill pen for taking his notes.

Now, the backstory (about the actual Marquis de Sade and his writings) and the afterstory (the movie Pasolini made out of 120 Days of Sodom.


The Mummy’s Cursor

July 16, 2023

A preposterous pun — with a long history behind it — for today’s Wayno / Piraro Bizarro:

(#1) Model mummy’s curse  / pun mummy’s cursor (cursor  ‘a movable indicator on a computer screen identifying the point that will be affected by input from the user, for example showing where typed text will be inserted’ (NOAD)) (if you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 12 in this strip! — see this Page)

Now the backstory:


Aardvarkman on the Impostor Syndrome cartoon

June 15, 2023

About a Jules Feiffer cartoon — still not unearthed (and it’s possible that there’s more than one) — that I recollect one way (described in yesterday’s posting “The Impostor Syndrome cartoon”) but cartoonist Dave Sim (creator of Cerebus the Aardvark) recollects a different way, in a review of Feiffer’s 1993 book The Man in The Ceiling, as quoted on the A Moment of Cerebus blog (“an unofficial cite celebrating the comics art of Dave Sim & Gerhard”) in 2015.

In today’s installment, the Sim account. And then a brisk survey of  Sim, the strip Cerebus, and the character Cerebus (and yes, there will be an explanation of the name).


The Impostor Syndrome cartoon

June 14, 2023

Whiling away yesterday morning at the CA DMV in Redwood City — being shepherded by caregiver Erick Barros through the process of renewing my senior ID from the state of California, which involved an interview and then a new photo — I entertained Erick with a retelling of the Jules Feiffer Impostor Syndrome (IS) cartoon as I recalled it, because our conversation had wandered onto the IS and because the joke that’s the hinge of the cartoon plays with ambiguity in a surprising, and especially satisfying, way.

Today I’ll just re-play the account in my 10/30/14 posting “Impostor Syndrome” and (exploiting the resources of OED3) unpack that joke into the lexical items that make it tick.

(It turns out that the cartoon has been described elsewhere (in cartoonist Dave Sim’s account of his conversation with Feiffer about an Irwin Corpulent cartoon of Feiffer’s), as having a very different resolution for the IS story. Four solid hours of searching through the materials available to me — including every damn cartoon in Feiffer’s thick volume Explainers: The Complete VILLAGE VOICE strips (1956-66) — did not, alas, produce an actual IS cartoon, neither the one I recollected nor the one Sim recollected. That search goes on.)


Briefly: on the gay porn title watch

June 10, 2023

(totally not for kids or the sexually modest, as you’ll see right away)

Today’s TLA Gay sale ad:

(#1) The header and the main image, showing pornstar William Seed looking intensely hunky by his firepole


Death of an instar

June 7, 2023

Yesterday’s — 6/6 — Wayno / Piraro Bizarro: “Today’s Theatrical Cartoon”, as Wayno’s title has it:

(#1) An outrageous — I hesitate to say brutal — pun, also learnèd, drawing on the technical terminology of zoology and the rather elevated locution the stage for acting, not to mention knowledge of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar (if you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 6 in this strip — see this Page)