All posts tagged Alan B. Combs

Creator of “Tarzan’s Tripes Forever, and Other Feghoots” and 2003 Punster of the Year. In his spare time, Alan B. Combs is a toxicologist with the Pharmacy School of the University of Texas at Austin.

Considerations about Suspenders

My dear wife is learning a lot about the language and about my sense of humor. One thing she doesn’t like very much are my suspenders. They just don’t fit in well with her sense of style, and she frequently comments about them.

My response has always been that I don’t wear them for style, but rather to keep my pants up.

She recently said, “That’s why the Lord gave you two hands.”… Read the rest...

Limerick Challenge No. 27

Cynthia MacGregor is the moderator for a punsters weekly limerick challenge. She says, “Your challenge for Lim-ber Your Mind #27 was: Write a limerick whose first line is:

“If happiness you are pursuing”

The entries:

If happiness you are pursuing,
Try to willing maid be a-wooing,
But hedge wedding bet,
A prenuptial get,
To help when ex-wife comes a-suing.

—-Chris Papa

If happiness you are pursuing
But your spouse has threatened her suing
Don’t run and hide
To choose a … Read the rest...

Sex by Age of 20

By Alan B. Combs

The other day, the CDC released statistics claiming that 96% of Americans have had sex by the time they are 20 years old. See, I am highly skeptical of this magic number, and this morning, local radio personality Bob Cole pointed out the critical flaw.

Considerably more than 4% of folks are too ugly or too socially inept to have scored by the time they are 20.

As Garfield says, “….”… Read the rest...

Volleyball on the Sands

Herein we report a recent pun cascade on P.U.N.Y.

Right now the U.S. Volleyball team is playing on TV. It is a pleasure to watch these daughters and sons of the beach.

Alan C

Opening this note was a net loss to me; a real dis-service.

Lowrie Beacham

Son of a beech…is that something like an acorn?

Cyn Mac

Watching women’s beach volleyball is a real thrill. No if’s sands or butts!

Gary Hallock

Rumor has it that next year, … Read the rest...

There Is a House in New Orleans…

By Alan B. Combs.

These were a couple of posts sent to my mailing list following the Katrina Hurricane of 2005 which did so much damage to New Orleans.

Many of my wife’s relatives live(d) in New Orleans. I find I have a great deal of affection and sadness for that wretched city.

It has not been a good year for New Orleans. Many enterprises, both legitimate and those with less than respectable attributes went down those totally inadequate drains. … Read the rest...

Snake Tale

by Alan B. Combs

As Jim Ryan attests, sometimes the more interesting stories really do
happen. I have added my toxicology students to this mailing, and the
article about snakes is, hereby, promoted from enrichment to required.

Tuesday everning, 10:30 PM, Kyle, Texas.

I went out about an hour ago to drop bills into the mailbox. There
was a very suspicious-looking, small snake on the walkway on my front
porch. I got a plastic box and trapped him.

My sister-in-law … Read the rest...

Gary Cooper

By Alan B. Combs

A Particular Tarragon

By Alan B. Combs

Tarragon is an herb used in traditional French cookery. It is used to good advantage in various sauces and herb vinegars. Pierre was a master French chef and his use of elegant spices was extraordinary. His fame spread throughout the countryside and all was well until one fateful year.

Suddenly the results of Pierre’s cooking turned terrible. His vinegars were vile, his flavors were a flop, and his Bearnaises were bad. After some investigation, he discovered … Read the rest...

Deer Walt Disney

By Alan B. Combs. This story features a non-winning entry (much better description than “losing entry”) in a recent P.U.N.Y. contest.

Those of us of a certain age may remember the 1942 movie about a young fawn that makes friends with all the woodland creatures, has his mother killed tragically by a hunter, and who eventually grows up to be the Prince of the Forest.

The years of his youth were considerably more difficult than the mostly idyllic tale portrayed … Read the rest...

Crossing Costal Waters

By Alan B. Combs

About a month ago, we took a family vacation through the Corpus Christi area to Port Aransas. Going out we went over one of the many bridges crossing the costal shipping channel. Coming back we went over another, the one by the carrier Lexington. These structures can be found all along the Gulf Coast. They were constructed to allow ships to pass under unimpeded.

However, some modern vessels such as the gigantic oil tankers are unable … Read the rest...

Eurasian Riddle

By Alan B. Combs

Why did the elegantly dressed Japanese lady get tragically killed while out walking around on one of the Indonesian islands?

She thought she heard someone yell, “Beware, kimono draggin’!”… Read the rest...

Roast for Joel McColl

By Alan B. Combs, May 2007

Joel McColl, the Punster of the Year (P.O.T.Y.) for 2006-2007, just retired from being the MC for the Annual O. Henry PunOff, after a couple of decades of service. I have had little interaction with Joel — but, I know he’s a musician, he sells Hondas, and he is a genuinely smart and nice guy.

This makes it hard to roast him with any sincerity or any authority, but, as is the case with … Read the rest...

In the Molecular Biology Lab

By Alan B. Combs

There’s a really strange character working as a lab tech in one of the molecular biology labs. His particular job is passing genetic material from one microorganism to another using viral plasmids as vectors.

Now, this is not so strange as far as jobs go, but it is this fellow’s personal habits that catch everyone’s notice. He dresses in tight, black leather pants that come up to the waist. He wears very high spike heels, and … Read the rest...

Clinton’s Rejected Intern

By Alan B. Combs

The Annual Bulwer-Lytton ( writing contest is based upon the much stolen beginning line by Snoopy, “It was a dark and stormy night…” The contest is run each year by the Department of English at San Jose State University. The award is given to the worst lead-in to a dreadful story. This was my entry sometime before the turn of the century. I cannot find it in the collection (not that that is necessarily a bad … Read the rest...

Disease Resistant

By Alan B. Combs. A nice, gentle offering went south as a PUNY cascade.

An unpopular, overly-studious, socially inept young fellow nevertheless did have one thing going for him. He never seemed to get colds or infections no matter what infectious microorganism was going around. He became the subject of several medical studies, therefore.

After much investigation, it was concluded that most pathogens had a very hard time finding their way around in the dork.

If some of those pathogens … Read the rest...

Gaining Face?

Sent by Alan B. Combs

A recent headline from the New York Times on-line (you may have to join to read it) says the French are the first to use a transplant to repair a face.

This seems appropriate research for folks that are always losing face, doesn’t it?

Tom Gunther’s co-worker said that this isn’t surprising, since the French have always been two-faced.

Lowrie adds, “Their faces are not lost; they’re just wedged up their derrières.”… Read the rest...

Cynthia MacGregor’s Roast (May 2006)

By Alan B. Combs.

Cynthia MacGregor is the Punster of the Year (P.O.T.Y.) for 2005- 2006. It is traditional for previous winners to roast the new awardee the night before the O. Henry PunOff.

My part is much more a fan letter than a roast. Clearly, Cynthia MacGregor is not a turkey to be roasted — but, what is she, exactly? That’s what I’ve been thinking about.

I know she is a Miami Dolphin fan, but I would bet she … Read the rest...


By Alan B. Combs, accompaied by Chris Caillouet and Bob Dvorak.

It’s true. I have strange friends. Some time ago I told you about a friend that collected statues of various people named William — the Bill-collector. I have another friend, one that instead of statues, collects marble busts of famous people. He keeps them on the shelves in his office.

The actor Richard Boone, of “Have Gun, Will Travel” fame is one of them. Another is of President Nixon. … Read the rest...

Garage Enterprise

by Alan B. Combs.

Unlike the celebrated cases of certain others such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, you may not be aware of their successes, but Fred Danjou and Bill Bartlett also developed a profitable enterprise in their garage. They were the first to create pear-to-pear file sharing clients.

Lowrie Beacham added, “Not only profitable; also fruitful.”

Chris Cole added:

Just goes to show that entrepreneurs should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labors!… Read the rest...

Soft Drink Packaging

By Alan B. Combs. This is another possible entry for Stan Kegel and Richard Lederer’s book of song-title puns.

Marketing for television commercial has increasingly become a high-pressure endeavor. Things are touted, not because they are necessary, but rather that they might sell. As you probably have suspected, I am going to point out a particularly bad example of the art. You wouldn’t be wrong.

One of the major (but unnamed in this tale) bottling manufacturers decided that providing choices … Read the rest...

Making His Mark

By Alan B. Combs with help from Chris Cole.

An ancient Persian prophet traveled about the civilized world, converting as much of it as he could to his peculiar brand of monotheism. He did this partly by force of persuasion, but mostly by force of arms. If his words should not happen to convince, zip, out would come the sword, bringing about a most pointed and speedy conversion.

The prophet would then carve his initial, “Z” on a nearby wall, … Read the rest...

Out of Date

Originally published in the March 06 Pundit. By Alan B. Combs with commentary by Chris Cole

Dancing, songs, and overtly sexist jokes were the mainstays of a small troop of vaudevillians of the old school. They tried to carry on with their routines into this decade, but lately they found their work was not much appreciated. They did not understand why until one day a woman in the audience stood up and shouted, “You are nothing but a bunch of … Read the rest...

In Memory of New Orleans

By Alan B. Combs. Many of my wife’s relatives live(d) in New Orleans. I find I have a great deal of affection and sadness for that wretched city.

It has not been a good year for New Orleans. Many enterprises, both legitimate and those with less than respectable attributes went down those totally inadequate drains. The bordello district was particularly hard hit (so to speak). Total inundation with nasty, poisonous water was the order of the day. A prophetic folk … Read the rest...

Another Homer Run

By Alan B. Combs. This was my entry in a morning P.U.N.Y. riddle contest. It took about ten minutes for Cynthia MacGregor to answer the riddle.

We all remember the Iliad and the tale of the Face that Launched a Thousand Ships. I am sorry to report, however, that the version history tells us just does not describe the reality. In fact, the lady in question was extraordinarily ugly. She could more truly be characterized as having the Face that … Read the rest...

A Shortage of Spiritual Leadership

By Alan B. Combs

An Indian spritual, Shree Rajneesh was in much demand by people seeking the path to enlightenment. Many localities were working hard to score their own Holy Leader. In fact, everyone wanted to Bhagwan.… Read the rest...