Poems and Puns #10 The Hiking Stick

A young woman was really upset. Being
quite the lover of the out-of-doors, she

had hiked many of the US’s great trails
to the extent her friends dubbed her “The

Great Rolling Stone.” Unfortunately, her
boss said there was a crisis at work and

she had to cancel her plans to hike an
anticipated section of the Appalachian

Trail. Her sometimes clueless boyfriend,
trying to be helpful and lift her spirits

suggested she try a different sport where
work wouldn’t get in the way. He told her

the following pun: A fellow named Stone
loved bowling more than life itself. As a

result, he was perpetually unemployed.
I guess that means that a bowling Stone

gathers no boss. She said, “Excuse me for
a moment.” She left and came back with

one of her well-worn hiking sticks and
presented it to him. “What’s this for?”

he asked. “It’s a metaphor,” she said.


He vacillates between optimism 
     and cynicism like his Chocolate 
          Lab between his mistress’ slice 

          of pizza and his master’s. He 
     doesn’t equate optimism with 
hope. Optimism is based on 

seeing things that encourage. 
     Hope is sometimes blind with 
          an innate assurance that there 

          is something at work in it all 
     for the good, which blossoms 
into faith. Because there isn’t 

much out there about which to 
     be optimistic, he slips easily into 
          cynicism like his dog after the 

          pizza. He has yet to slip into 
     despair which is where you 
go when hope is hopeless 

and faith is folly. He breathes 
     a sigh of relief, “Kyrie, aye, 
          aye, aye.”


Self-Correction, Responsibility and Hope

Self-correction is a most important action,
but sometimes it takes considerable education
and a desire for a different kind of relation
to the loved one who sees continuing disruption.

She said, “Your apologies have lost credibility
because you never change your behavior-ability.
The definition of insanity reveals your culpability.
It’s doing the same thing over and over again foolishly

expecting over and over very different outcomes,
so, repent, say you’re sorry, stop sitting on your thumbs
and change before our relationship to death succumbs.”
He got the message, changed and their relationship now hums
(at least for awhile).

And so it is with all relations,
even and especially for presidents of nations.

Poems and Puns #9 The Beloved Family Physician

A man’s twin brother was quite taken
with body image. As time passed, he
grew somewhat thinner. The man,
worried about him and wanting to nip

a potential problem in the bud, consult-
ed the beloved but very old and somewhat
doddering family physician. The physician
stated that while he was no expert in

eating disorders he did love puns and
thought he had just the right one. The
physician said that humor is sometimes
the best medicine. So the man, who

knew that his brother at one time had
been quite taken with Eastern religions
especially Hinduism, decided to tell
his brother the following even though

he remained a bit skeptical: Mahatma
Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot
most of the time, which produced an
impressive set of calluses on his feet.

He also ate very little, which made him
rather frail and, with his odd diet, he
suffered from bad breath. This made him
a super calloused fragile mystic hexed by

halitosis. The brother looked daggers
at the man, stuck a Listerine breath
strip in his mouth and rushed from
the room. The man assumed that that

had not been very helpful even though
it was a pretty funny pun. The next
day after a family conference, they
decided to retire the beloved family

Where It All Started

Traveling south he and his wife
stopped in the once small city

where it all started. At the motel
he was told  that the city had

gone through unbelievable growth.
He took his wife on a trip into his

past, just a kid out of seminary,
taking a position as a campus

minister at the local university,
his late wife and his year-and-

a-half-old baby boy, a new state,
a different culture. The road in

from the Interstate was, indeed,
filled with many, many chain

restaurants but it was remarkable
how the town square had not

changed in fifty years except every-
thing was more spiffy, some of the

same shops (the movie theater
where he saw Dirty Harry, the pool

hall where he drank beer and shot
pool) and, of course, the same

churches where he had preached —
Episcopal, Presbyterian, Christian

(Disciples of Christ). And the university
where he plied his newly crafted trade

as a wet behind the ears preacher
speaking out against the war in

Viet Nam and for civil rights and
and the art department where he

would pick up his late wife from
her classes from which she would

graduate with honors after putting
together all the credits she had

from all the other colleges she
had attended and was so reluctant

to compile afraid of the grades
that weren’t so sterling. Back

at the motel he got really weepy
not so much in sadness as in lost

and found. It was over fifty years
ago and he was sure no one recalled

that he had been there then, but he
had been there and as his insightful

wife said, “It is where you got your
start and you will never lose that.”

Poems and Puns #8 Twinsies

From two pews back I, a visitor,
watched the two identical toupees
right next to each other. We had
gathered for Sunday worship in

the inclusive, open and affirming
congregation. Right then and there
I decided I would look for those
two toupees during coffee hour

after worship hoping they would
be there. I found them; I went
around to catch a view from the
front and saw two elderly male

faces under identical toupees.
I just had to talk with them. They
were a couple for forty years and
just two years ago were married

in this church. They owned a floral
shop and were beyond  retirement
age but weren’t sure what to do.
They loved the shop but knew they

couldn’t keep it up for much longer.
With no children and few relatives,
they wondered what to do with any
proceeds from the sale after they

put away enough to assure their per-
sonal solvency. I said, “Well, there
comes a time to find new adventures
or dig into that bucket list. You don’t

know what tomorrow might bring.
If you wait too long, everything could
go bust.” To help them consider this I
told them this pun: A group of friars

was behind on their belfry payments,
so they opened up a small florist shop
to raise funds. Since everyone liked to
buy flowers from the men of God, a rival

florist across town thought the competition
was unfair. He asked the good fathers to
close down, but they would not. He went
back and begged the friars to close. They

ignored him. So, the rival florist hired
Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most
vicious thug in town to persuade’ them to
close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed

their store, saying he’d be back if they
didn’t close up shop. Terrified, they did
so, thereby proving that only Hugh can
prevent florist friars. Fast forward four

years — the guys sold the floral shop,
made a significant contribution to their
beloved congregation, traveled as they
pleased and then died within a week of

each other. They had a joint funeral
at the church and everyone said they
looked so very handsome in their
twinsie toups.

Poems and Puns #7 And a Child Shall Lead Them

One of the male children of Dutch
ancestry, living in an area termed by
some outsiders as “Albino heaven”

because the area in the United States
was so ethnically isolated, married a
Hispanic girl from a growing Latino pop-

ulation in the area thus upsetting his family.
The family pastor, a progressive fellow for
the area and an advocate of the notion that

there is only one race, the human race, but
many beautiful ethnicities in God’s great
human creation, sought to help the family

adjust by telling them a pun: A woman
has twins and gives them up for adoption.
One of them goes to Spain, They name him

“Juan”; the other went to a family in
Egypt and is named “Ahmal.” Years later,
Juan sends a picture of himself to his

birth mother. Upon receiving the picture,
she tells her husband that she wishes
she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her

husband responds, “They’re twins! If
you’ve seen Juan, You’ve seen Ahmal.”
Sobber faced, the family said they would

pray about it. A year later, a baby girl
was born to the couple. She was the most
beautiful child imaginable. The Dutch

family and the Hispanic family decided
to give thanks by having Thanksgiving
together. That was destined to be quite

the cross-ethnic feast. The pastor was
invited and, of course, would offer

Poems and Puns #6 The Christmas Baby

Christi, whose birthday is December
25, early on waxed philosophical
about it realizing that she always
would be jipped out of a gift or two,

“How do you compete with Jesus for
a birthday?” Her husband suggested
that they move the celebration of
her birth to June 25 but everyone

including Chris and her husband
forgot. Relegated to a destiny of
fewer birthday presents than if she
had had the fortune of having been

born on a different day in a differ-
ent month, she just shrugged her
shoulders. Her husband not want-
ing her to feel bad as Christmas ap-

proached, told her the following pun:
A group of chess enthusiasts checked
into a hotel and were standing in the
lobby discussing their recent tourn-

ament victories. After about an hour,
the manager came out of the office
and asked them to disperse. “But
why?” they asked, as they moved off.

“Because,” he said, “I can’t stand
chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer.”
With that she started to cry. Her
husband thought to himself, That

wasn’t the intended outcome. He
then rushed off to the store to buy
her a few presents. She thought,
That was the intended outcome.

Poems and Puns #5 Dentistry and Death

He just read a poem by
a Native American poet
who had cancer of the
tongue and later died
of cancer. He thought
about his most recent
dental exam and the
special light that was
used to detect cancer.
He is cancer-free. He
was sad when he read
her poem about lilies
dying and blooming.
He wanted to cheer
her up by telling her
this pun: Did you hear
about the Buddhist
who refused Novocain
during a root canal?
His goal: transcend
dental medication.
He was so sorry that
he couldn’t tell her
that pun that he
began to cry. She
was only fifty-nine
when she died.

Poems and Puns #4 Staying Positive

Hilda, the best church office
manager ever, noticed that the
pastor seemed depressed, so,

having a compassionate side,
she asked the pastor what was
wrong. The pastor, the first

woman to serve the congreg-
ation, said she was being
criticized as a woman in the

pulpit. Hilda, who knew
prejudice against women in
leadership, said she found

the pastor’s preaching in-
spiring, electrifying and
charged with positive vibes,

so she told the pastor that
she had a pun to lift her
spirits: Two hydrogen atoms

meet. One says, “I’ve lost
my electron.” The other says
“Are you sure?” The first re-

plies, “Yes, I’m positive.”
The pastor smiled and then
laughed, gave Hilda a hug

and said, “I’ll try to stay
positive, Hilda. Thanks for
being there for me.” Hilda

said, “Sure. That’s my call-
ing, Rev.”