The Accidental Pun

Yesterday, I was in a meeting for work.  We were debriefing recent trainings that we’ve done, and my coworker (who was calling in via phone) started telling us about his training with the National Association of Letter Carriers, you know, the people who deliver your mail.

So my coworker said, “blah blah blah so yeah it was really great, we did some new things and really pushed the envelope.”(!!!)

So of course I start laughing uncontrollably, which the person calling in via phone couldn’t understand at all. 

I love puns, probably an abnormal about.  So I got to thinking about puns and the people who love them, and how they are considered a cheesy, even base form of humor.  I would agree with all that – with the notable exception of the accidental pun. 

Part of the reason why puns are so groan-inducing is the sense of desperation clinging to them.  It’s like, implicit (or explicit) in every pun is a guy with big eyebrows going “eh?  eh?” and jabbing you with his elbow.  But if they come about by coincidence or happenstance, then that air of desperation is washed away and you’re left with pure, unadulterated funny.


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