Punformation!

I’m sure that both of my regular readers know I’m a big fan of the pun, and several weeks ago I started a series of pun based shaggy dog stories. I called it a pun a day, or something like that. If anyone liked it, they didn’t say so, and I discontinued it. But last week, Mike Hall, of the Topeka Capitol Journal published a column filled with one line puns. I loved them. All of them, and for your edification, I’m posting them here along with a link (above) to Mr. Hall’s column.

You can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish.

■ I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger, then it hit me.

■ To write with a broken pencil is pointless.

■ When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate.

■ A thief who stole a calendar got 12 months.

■ When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U.C.L.A.

■ The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes was on shaky ground.

■ The batteries were given out free of charge.

■ A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail.

■ A will is a dead giveaway.

■ If you don’t pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.

■ With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.

■ Show me a piano falling down a mineshaft and I’ll show you A-flat miner.

■ You are stuck with your debt if you can’t budge it.

■ Local Area Network in Australia: The LAN down under.

■ A boiled egg is hard to beat.

■ When you’ve seen one shopping center, you’ve seen a mall.

■ Police were called to a day care where a 3-year-old was resisting a rest.

■ If you take a laptop computer for a run you could jog your memory.

■ A bicycle can’t stand alone. It is two tired.

■ In a democracy it’s your vote that counts. In feudalism, it’s your Count that votes.

■ When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.

■ The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.

And for good measure, here are a couple I’d like to add:

  • Protect your right to bare arms. Wear a sleeveless blouse.
  • Corduroy pillows: They’re making head lines.

Oh my yes!

Success!

OK, today we are featuring one line puns, so I’m providing two for the price of one. (No real bargain since they are free!)

What do you get if you drop a piano down a mine shaft? A flat minor.

What do you get if you drop a piano on the officer’s club? A flat major.

Well either yesterday’s LEAP Summit was a big success or the participants are a bunch of liars.  I know that if they had half as much fun as I did, they really enjoyed themselves. We began as I always do with some improv based warmup games. As usual one of the most popular games was the “celebrate failure’ game where we stand in a circle, take turns announcing failures and cheer each one. Perhaps the biggest laugh was when the videographer I had hired announced that he had forgotten to push the “record” button. He was joking of course. I mean, he must have been, right?

After the warmup we divided the group into teams of about 10 and asked them to imagine the best possible programs for school and business partners to pursue. We wrote those on flip charts, and gave the participants a break while I and the program committee looked for common themes. We identified six programs based on common themes from the “imagine” groups, and then invited the participants back to self select which one they would like to work on to develop action plans to make the programs work. Although the summit was scheduled to end at 6:00 all of the groups worked beyond that time.

During our debrief, we decided that the only change we would make next time would be to use 5×8 cards rather than flip charts to write the suggestions from the “imagine” session. We had some difficulty with finding common themes working from flip charts. If we had used cards, we could have moved them around to facilitate finding commonalities.

I read an interesting exchange on Face Book:

Donna: “I am looking for a good interactive training for the administrative staff at KNEA

Someone: “You should check with Laugh2learn.”

Donna: We had Laugh2learn for our last quarter training and got the best evaluations we have ever had. We will be having him back for every other training.”

Smart people there at KNEA.

Double Punday

I was attending the Kansas Public Health Association’s annual conference, and didn’t find time to post a pun yesterday. I’ll make up for it today by doubling your punishment. First a short one: Women, support the second amendment. Wear sleeveless blouses. Protect your right to bare arms.

And a somewhat longer one involves Rudolph Ivanovitch Orloff, a minor official in the Communist Party during the early days of the Soviet Union. One morning he awoke to the sound of pitter-patter on the roof. He turned to you wife, Ivana, and said, “Listen to the rain.” Ivana listened for a moment and replied, “You know dear, I don’t think that is rain, it sounds more like snow to me.” “No!” said Rudolph, “I’m quite sure it’s rain.” Ivana was adamant. “Snow!” She shouted. “Rain!” Rudolph replied. The argument became quite heated until Rudolph shouted. “Don’t argue with me. I say it’s rain, and Rudolph, the red, knows rain dear.”

Today is a big day for Laugh2Learn. I worked with the board of the Lawrence Education Achievement Partners (LEAP) to create an exciting an innovative program for their LEAP Summit, and today is the day! We anticipate that all of the participants will leave the Summit with specific plans to find new ways for businesses and schools to partner. The summit will be in the Leid Center’s new education complex, and we are thrilled to be one of the first community organizations to use it.

I plan to have a videographer there, and with any luck I will be able to post some video here soon.

Next week we change gears somewhat as we perform a Theatre of the Oppressed session for the Kansas Head Start Association’s Parent Leadership Conference.

Versatility is the word of the week.

By the way, do you like the puns? If you do please let me know. Puns, I am told, are the lowest form of humor. I’ve also heard that the reason we groan when we hear one is because we wish we had thought of it first. I honestly don’t know, but they make me laugh, and laugh is my first name.

 

Tuesday’s pun

Busy, busy, busy this week, but not too busy to punish you.

Pavel was from the Czech republic. He and his Polish friend, Zoltan considered themselves great hunters, although their exploits were pretty much limited to rabbits and squirrels. They had always dreamed of bigger game, so when Pavel came into a small inheritance, he invited his friend to go hunting for grizzlies in Canada. They went to Whitehorse, Yukon Territories, rented gear and set off. When they didn’t return at the scheduled time, a search party set out to find them. They found their camp in total disarray, and there were tracks from a male and female grizzly. After a search, they shot and killed a female grizzly, cut her open and sure enough, found what was left of Zoltan. “Well,” Said the leader of the search party, “I think we can be sure of one thing. The Czech is in the Male.”

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Avast me hearties, it be talk like a pirate day. That bein’ the case, I’ll be posting a pirate pun this mornin’ Arrrgh!

It’s not often you see a pirate on the street in Topeka, Kansas. But this morning that’s just what I saw. He was dressed as piratey as he could be, right down to the peg leg and eye patch. The only incongruity was, in place of a hat, he had a paper towel. I also noted that his behavior was a bit strange. He kept looking behind him, and seemed, frankly, to be a bit paranoid. So I asked him what he was afraid of. “Arrrgh,” he said, “I’ve got a Bounty on me head.”

OK, enough of that. This blog is supposed to be about laugh2learn, and how  you can use improv concepts to improve the environment at work and, for that matter, at home. The main concept is “yes…and.” Based on the notion of accepting the offer from another and adding to it. The opposite is “yes…but,” which stifles creativity. When we work with employers, we usually do verbal and physical exercises to demonstrate the power of “yes…and,” but here is a powerful exercise you can do almost anytime anywhere, and you don’t even need to hire me to do it!

Find two or three partners and sit at a table with a single sheet of paper. Your goal is to create a drawing. If you want you can decide what kind of drawing you will create; face, landscape, animal, etc. Then without speaking further, one person makes a single mark on the paper and passes it to the next person who also makes a single mark. Continue passing the paper, each player adding a single mark until one person feels that the drawing is complete. Again without speaking that person writes a single letter on the paper. This is the beginning of the title of the work of art. Each person contributes a letter until the drawing is complete. Katt Koppett’s Training to Imagine has some wondeful examples

I have used this technique with people from sixth grade to adults. The quality and creativity of the resulting artwork never cease to amaze me.

Sunday Pun: The Chicken and the Librarian

Today’s pun doesn’t lend itself well to writing so, I have recorded it.

Now for any of you who think a business blog should have something more substantial, since the subject is libraries, I will direct you to this well written blog about banned books.

Appreciation (And, of course, pun of the day)

Pun of the day: While on an extended road trip, I kept seeing signs advertising a breakfast only restaurant that featured eggs Benedict. I had to try it. The place was very small, and they did feature eggs Benedict. I ordered it, and when my order arrived, it was served on an automobile hub cap. “What’s this?” I asked. “Ah sir,” replied the server, “There is no plate like chrome for the Hollandaise.”

OK to take the taste of that pun out of your mouth here is a recipe for eggs Benedict.

I got an email from a friend today telling me that her supervisor had given her flowers this morning. Last week had been trying and my friend had gone the extra mile. It was a wonderful gesture, and it got me thinking about appreciation. How many of us work with a person we respect and admire, but we never think to tell them? Similarly how many of us feel that our good efforts go unnoticed and unappreciated?

Here is a simple exercise that takes only 90 seconds and can help everyone feel more appreciated. It’s called “Good Gossip”

Divide the group into threes and have them sit in chairs facing the same direction with one chair in front and two in back. Instruct the two in back to talk about the person in front for 30 seconds, loudly enough for the person in front to hear. The only condition; they may only say good things that are true. After 30 seconds rotate so that a different person is in front. Then rotate again.

Last week whenI worked with the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department Management team,  we ended the session with good gossip. Some of the comments I heard when we finished: “Wow! That was fun. Why did you only give them 30 seconds.” “I love that exercise.”

You and your staff will love it too. It only takes 90 seconds and the payoff is positive feelings all around.

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