(Editor’s Note: Because the victim is a minor, his name has been changed).
It’s official, I have failed as a parent.
The other day, I picked up my son, Ethan, and his friend, “Bob”, from summer camp. While we were walking home, Bob was telling us how much he enjoyed playing baseball.
“What position do you like to play?” I asked.
“Batter,” he said, giving the type of verbose reply preferred by eight-year-olds everywhere.
“You like to be a batter?” my son asked, with an evil glint in his eye that made me wary.
“Great,” Ethan barely suppressed a grin, “Since you like being a batter, I’ll put you in a pan, then in the oven, and you’ll turn into a cake.”
As Bob stared blankly at my son, I realized Ethan had just killed the conversation with a pun. To make matters worse, I also knew that he didn’t learn that at school or on the street. No, he learned how to use a pun at home, watching me.
You see I don’t handle my puns safely. I leave them lying around the house where anyone can pick them up. So really, I’m to blame. If only I had handled my puns more responsibly, this never would have happened.
You may argue that “Puns don’t kill conversations, people do,” and that if a person really wants to kill a conversation and they don’t have a pun, they could use sarcasm or an ill-timed humorous remark.
While this is true, those rhetorical devices don’t have the devastating impact of a pun. Only puns can deliver that painful, gut wrenching feeling that sucks the life out of a conversation. There is no way to reply to pun other than groaning — or another pun.
Wait, that’s it, the only good defense against a bad person with a pun is a good person with a pun. Maybe everyone should be taught how to use a pun. Then we could all defend ourselves and others. Together we can stand up to the pun-ks who would hold our conversations hostage. Let the pun-ishment begin.
Argh, on second thought never mind, there should be a 30-second waiting period before anyone can use a pun.