My Old Kentucky Homesite

Pun Formation

Posted by Larry Wallberg on 02/06/2010

Tomorrow is unique in that it’s both Charles Dickens’s 198th birthday and the XLIVth Super Bowl.  It’s a little-known fact that my favorite novelist was, himself, an ardent fan of the NFL. Dickens seems to have begun a number of works about America’s most important pseudo-religious holiday, although he fumbled before they reached completion. Nevertheless, here are some excerpts:

first sentence from A Super Bowl Carol
Bronko Nagurski was dead, to begin with.

from A Tale of Two Super Bowl Cities
It was the best of bowls, it was the worst of bowls, it was the age of defense, it was the age of offense, it was the epoch of sportscars, it was the epoch of gumbo, it was the season of motor oil, it was the season of seasonings, it was the spring of Brees, it was the winter of Manning, we had everything riding on the Saints, we had all our money on the Colts.

from David Copperbowl
Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my office pool, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, the final tallies must show. To begin my story with the beginning of my bet, I record that I selected the dreaded 9-2 on the 100-square sheet. It was remarked that the clock began to strike, and I began to cry, simultaneously.

from Oliver Twit
The evening arrived; the fans took their places around the football-field-sized TV. The host, in his cook’s uniform, stationed himself at the wings table; his pauper assistants ranged themselves behind him, at the chili tureen, at the chips-and-dips trays, and at the deli spread. The beer was served out; and a long toast was said by those rooting for each team. The game commenced; the nuts and pretzels disappeared; the fans whispered each other; and winked at Oliver; while his neighbors nudged him. Loser that his team was, he was desperate with hunger, and reckless with misery. He rose from the couch; and advancing to the host, empty plate in hand, said: somewhat alarmed at his own temerity:

“Please, sir, I want some more nachos.”

from Great Expectorations
In an arm-chair, with an elbow resting on the table and her head leaning on that hand, sat the strangest lady I have ever seen or shall ever see.

She was dressed in rich materials — satins, and lace, and silks — all of purple, yellow, and white. Her shoes were oddly matched, one with purple buckles, the other with yellow. And she had long yellow braids depending from the top of her head, but her hair was white. Her face was painted so that the right side was a jaundiced yellow, and the left, a bruised purple. She had not quite finished dressing, for she had a horned helmet before her on the dressing table, and with her headpiece some flowers, and a Prayer-book, all confusedly heaped about the looking-glass.

“Look at me,” said Miss Vikishfan. “You are not afraid of a woman whose team was robbed, are you boy?”

last sentence from A Super Bowl Carol
And so, as Tiny Tim observed, Go pass Us Every One!

I, myself, don’t care much for football. But I’ll probably grab a few handfuls of Little Doritos at halftime, and listen to The Old Who-riosity Slop.


7 Responses to “Pun Formation”

  1. srsny said

    Little Doritos = touchdown!

  2. Srsny:
    Now I’m really glad I didn’t go with the play (on words) that I originally intended: Martin Cheezlewhiz.

  3. I think moving to Kentucky has affected you. Your humour is still the same quality, but, damn.

    No “The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Kickerbee”?

  4. the chaplain said

    I’m surprised you didn’t include a blurb from Mr. Manning’s Legacy:

    Ah! It’s pleasant to drop into the whirlpool my dear though a little palpitating what with trotting upstairs and what with trotting down, and why stadium stairs should all be steep stairs is for the builders to justify though I do not think they fully understand their trade and never did, else why the sameness and why not more conveniences and fewer benches and likewise making a practice of laying the cement on too thick I am well convinced which holds the damp, and as to entrance ways putting them on by guess-work like hats at a party and no more knowing what the effect of the wind coming through them will be upon my passes bless you than I do if so much, except that it will mostly be either to send them down Austin Collie’s throat in a straight form or give them a twist before they go there.

    There’s also the little-known The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Quarterbacks

    On the eighth day of the winter month of February, two thousand and ten, wherein these presents bear date, two idle quarterbacks, exhausted by the long autumn, and the long, playoff season it had brought with it, will run away from their employers.

  5. (((Billy))):
    Your humour is still the same quality, but, damn.
    Yep, still the same damned humour.
    By the way, thanks for Nicholas Kickerbee, but I think I’ll pass.

    Nice response. I’m glad to see you’re wending your way through the Complete Works of Charles Dickens on your Kindle. But don’t tell me you’ve actually read “Mrs. Lirriper’s Legacy.” Yikes!

  6. srsny said

    Despite my complete lack of knowledge about football, I have been inspired by (((billy))) to suggest, The Kickwick Papers, and, thanks to a quick look at an online football glossary, Blitz House.

  7. Srsny:
    Don’t forget Barnaby Rush and Master Humphrey’s Play Clock.

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