I admit it, I love the art of the pun. Some will tell you that a “pun” is simply a “play on words,” and this is how the term was defined for me when I first learned the term in Mr. Cook’s fourth grade class at Alta Vista Elementary School in Phoenix, Arizona. This would have been in about 1977 or 1978 or so. A long fucking time ago. Anyway, dictionary.com defines “pun” thusly:
noun1.the humorous use of a word or phrase so as to emphasize or suggest its different meanings or applications, or the use of words that are alike or nearly alike in sound but different in meaning; a play on words.2.the word or phrase used in this way.
Cowboy star Roy Rogers was notoriously vain regarding his footwear. One year he bought himself a pair of beautiful snakeskin cowboy boots. They were stylish, flashy, and expensive. He spent about $300.00 on them, which in 1950’s dollars was nothing to sneeze at. Roy loved those boots and he would care for them meticulously, shining them as often as possible and washing them delicately whenever they had even the slightest amount of dust on them. One night, after cleaning the boots carefully, he placed them outside the front door of the ranch house he shared with his wife Dale Evans to dry. The next morning he discovered that, during the night, a bobcat had come down from the mountains and chewed the boots all to shit. Roy was inscensed. Furiously he grabbed his rifle and he and dale went out to hunt down the bobcat. After a few hours of searching, Dale came across the bobcat in a clearing, bits of snakeskin still visible stuck in it’s teeth. In a loud voice, Dale sang out to her husband, “Pardon me, Roy… Is that the cat that chewed your new shoes…?”