A warning to all punsters

This was posted on the virtual bar alt.callahans by Warin the grizzly bear.

The grizzly, looking rather shaken, shambles through the doorway. “I never woulda thought it.”

Mike wordlessly offers him a bottle of IBC, his usual, but doesn’t say anything. Half a bottle later, he’s still waiting, polishing glasses, the bar, and the brass chime sitting next to the cigar box.

“I’ve been told, by a source I consider reliable, that puns are infernally motivated.”

Mike (Callahan) quickly sets a handful of candles next to the chime and calls, “Tom, would you go get the accounting paperwork and bring it out here? I think I need to make sure of my balance.”

The grizzly gives him an odd look, which has as much effect on Callahan as a bath does on a bathtub, and tells him, “C’mon, Mike. Get real. None of this bell, book, and candle business.”

“Whaddaya think of my bar-bell?” he answers, with an ish look.

“Dang it, Mike, the fourth level of Hell has just finished an addition for punsters!” the grizzly exclaims. “I heard it direct from — ah, someone whose name I don’t want to mention — ”

“Thanks for the courtesy. I’d hate to unsummon something here in the Place; I think it gets quite enough exorcise as it is.”

“You’re not going to take this seriously, are you?”

“No. Why? Are you?”

“Well, you should take it more seriously than I am. I’ve got fur, anyway.”

“What does that have to do with it?”

“The prescribed punishm — ahhh, treatment for punning is *flaying,* you crazy Irishman! You’d hurt a lot faster than I would.”

Mike looks at Warin for a moment. “That’s not what’s bothering you.”

He sighs. “No, it’s not. I mentioned that I’d heard it direct from the source? Well, that’s because my contact tried to make me an offer.”

“What kind of offer?”

“Well, he said that if I was willing to take twice the usual ration of castigation, I could have twice the punning ability I have now.”

“You didn’t take him up on it, did you?”

“Of course not. It was hardly an ‘offer I couldn’t refuse’, y’know. I mean, really! ‘Double your flay-sure, double your pun?’ I don’t think so!”

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