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.

How Bigfoot Got His Name

By Alan B. Combs


One of the common themes of public lore is the topic of folk monsters. There is the Hispanic chupacabra that does unmentionable things to goats. There is the Wendigo of Canadian and Native Americans, and we are all familiar with the predations of the Himalayan Yeti.

We may also be familiar with another Canadian folk monster, but until recently it has been unclear how he got his name. This creature was first reported in the Province … Read the rest...

MacTavish’s Lament (An Adult Theme Shaggy Pup)

An old shaggy tale as remembered and recreated by Lowrie Beacham with help of Alan Combs. The punchline is all over the internet. We have been unable to find the original.


As the auld Scotsman was wont to do, MacTavish was bemoaning his lot in life. “‘Tis a hard thing,” he said. “By all rights, I should ha ben Laird Mayor of this town, but no, it dinna happen. With me ain two hands I designed and built most of … Read the rest...

Longhorn Musicians

By Alan B. Combs


I’ve been watching football all day. It finally hit me that if the Longhorn music and marching organization ever ended up in Massachusetts, I wonder if they’d be band in Boston.… Read the rest...

My Bulwer-Lytton Submission, 2005

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. Once again my submission has “received the treatment it deserves” and won nothing this year. Shucks.


This was just the latest in a series of horrible murders by the Jack The Ripper hack-alike whose victims were chopped into … Read the rest...

Canine Consorts

By Ms. Charlotte Herzele and Alan B. Combs. This effort arose as a result of one of those altogether too rare face-to-face meetings we had a couple of weeks ago.


One of the abuses society inflicts upon its companion animals is a failure to have these animals neutered. One suggested explanation is the psychological phenomenon of transference. “I wouldn’t like to have THAT done to me, so I just won’t do it to my animals.”

We thought it might be … Read the rest...

Introduction to Norman Gilbert

Norman Gilbert is the editor of The Pundit. He is the Punster of The Year (P.O.T.Y) for 2005-6. He was given this award at a roast in his honor at the May 2005 O. Henry PunOff. As outgoing P.O.T.Y., these were my comments.


I am really glad to be here and take a break from my other life. Especially, I am glad to be here with punsters who socialize and really enjoy each other, in this, our mutual abberation societyRead the rest...

Second Submission, Bulwer-Lytton Bad Writing Contest, 2004

By Alan B. Combs


This was one of two submissions to the Bulwer-Lytton Contest for 2004.

He knew it was going to be a wonderful day because the storm had passed, blue birds were singing rhapsodies, and a passing airplane wrote “3.1416” in the sky.… Read the rest...

A Journey of Historical Proportions

By Alan B. Combs


As many of you may remember, we visited New Orleans last week just before the hurricane. While we were there, we indulged our interest in history at that wonderfully fated city. the port leading to the vast territories of the Louisiana Purchase. We learned that Thomas Jefferson was behind the movement to explore this territory, but the true story of how it happened is not told in the histories, and the actual explorers did not get … Read the rest...

Failure in the Fish Business

By Alan B. Combs with a similar tale by Bob Dvorak.


There is a local chain of Barbecue and Ribs restaurants in Texas and other states called Tony Roma’s. These are mid-scale establishments and the food generally is good without being too high priced. Having given them this plug, I do have to tell the sad story about when the chain decided to become a fish restaurant, as well.

Near the headquarters of the chain, there is a very lovely … Read the rest...

Elevator Problem (An Adult Limerick Cascade)

The following is a limerick cascade from the limericks and haiku listserv.


A problem seems always to hound us.
In the elevator, there to confound us.
So, how can this be?
It’s not me, you see!
Just why does that flatus surround us?

Alan B. Combs


You’ve clearly not run out of gas.
My nose knows the difference, alas.
I won’t make a comment.
I’ll try not to vomit.
I guess that I’ll just let it pass.

Cyn MacGregor


Young … Read the rest...

Hispanic Folk-Monsters

The original tale is by Alan B. Combs. It led to a pun cascade on PUNY.


Folk-monsters are a part of the underculture in many countries. Fear of bogeymen, vampires, werewolves, dervishes, zombies, and other such unfriendly life forms (speaking loosely) is part of being human. I have recently become familiar with a fairly well-described Hispanic entity. This fearsome creature is a modern affliction, combining the very worst aspects of military helicopters with a peculiar abuse of goats. Found mostly … Read the rest...

China Redux

This was a recent cascade on PUNY.


My former graduate student says that each time she visits Beijing or Shanghai, it always seems that she’s been there before. I think it’s a clear case of Asia vu.

Alan B. Combs


In his declining years our recently deceased Republican president daily attempted to regain bits of his memory by watching videotapes of his trip to China. Yogi Berra noted that it seemed like Asia vu all over Reagan.

GARY HALLOCK


I’ve … Read the rest...

Our New Advocate

By Alan B. Combs with an addition by Howell Gwinn


For a long time, a certain public university has had people hired to the position of Student Advocate. This person is hired to represent students in their grievances and disputes with professors and the university.

In its wisdom, this University has recently decided that faculty members may also avail themselves of such an Advocate in their dealings with the university. This has occurred only because of the tireless efforts of … Read the rest...

The Southern Reconstruction

By Alan B. Combs


During the years immediately following the U.S. Civil War, the plight of Southerners of all persuasions was not helped by the large influx of scalawags and other folks trying to make a fast buck off the locals’ troubles. One particularly troublesome group originated from the Midwestern city of Madison. This group, singing their theme song “On Wisconsin”, became known as the Carpetbadgers.… Read the rest...

At the Supermarket for Terrorists

By Alan B. Combs


It is not one of those things we usually like to think about, but even terrorists must get their supplies from somewhere. Though they are very clandestine and exceedingly surreptitious, there are stores catering to this clientele with its peculiar needs. The merchandise choices are many and the waitfolks try to be as helpful as possible.

Recently, one of these markets instituted a lay-away program as an additional service. One could choose the high energy product … Read the rest...

Genetic Hybrid

By Alan B. Combs


Today, the Aggie Press announced that researchers at the Veterinary School were able to produce a viable hybrid between a horse and a bull. They named t he animal Autumnal. The are planning to produce another in the Spring, and will call that one Vernal.… Read the rest...

A Halloween Wedding

By Alan B. Combs. This was written for Ms. Scarlett whose daughter got married on October 31, 2004.


T’was a merrie young lassie, Mimosa,
Blessed child of a Family Famosa,
      Who let it be said,
      “On THIS day I wed!
Let’s honor old Bela Lugosa.”… Read the rest...

Another Bilingual Pun

By Alan B. Combs


We went to a fish restaurant the other night. I ordered the crab alfredo, and the portion was best described as scant. My wife asked if it was enough and I automatically answered, “pastante”.… Read the rest...

Signs of the Times

By Alan B. Combs and John Barnstead


A local street preacher was listing the signs of the coming Apocalypse. I found myself shouting, “Omen, Brother, Omen!”


John responded:

“…whereas *some* men I know, dear Alan, viewing the approaching end, would rather cry “W-omen, Brother, W-omen!” remarks Pernicious the Musquodoboit Harbour Farm Cat, whose interest in these matters has been purely theoretical since his double orchidectomy a decade ago…”… Read the rest...

Elvis, Take Two

By Alan B. Combs


Getting started in Show Biz is always difficult. There are so many excellent aspirants and so few gigs that actually pay a living wage. It was no different with Elvis at the beginning of his career. Consequently, while he was in the process of being discovered, he was obliged to keep his Daye job. (It’s a temptation to say he was her chauffeur, but that’s a different story.)

One of Elvis’s early jobs was working in … Read the rest...

She’ll Always Be Thirteen… (A Bilingual Pun)

By Alan B. Combs


My niece from Honduras, Tracy, was not entirely pleased when I remarked she would always be thirteen. After I explained, she was even less pleased:

“Once, doce, Tracy, catorce…”

She also said I was pronouncing it wrong.… Read the rest...

How To Lose Two-Hundred Ugly Pounds

By Alan B. Combs with a cascade of help from PUNY.


You probably saw the recent article on one of the news services where a woman stabbed her husband to death, stuffed him into a trash baggie, and threw his carcass into a convenient dumpster.

The jury decided it was a clear case of marital discard.

Bob Dvorak said, “Probably a hatchet job. We’ve all heard of ex murders.”

Gary Hallock added, ” I guess the old maid finally bagged … Read the rest...

So Help Me, It’s True…

By Alan B. Combs


One of the categories of useful cardiovascular drugs that I cover in my classes is that of anticoagulants, drugs that decrease blood clotting. Anyone that watches commercials knows that aspirin is highly touted for this property. One of the wonderful ironies, however, is that Nature frequently has done it better than we can.

We have clinically useful anticoagulants derived from leech saliva (hirudin, hirulog, and others). As far as I know, no one is studying mosquito … Read the rest...

Bathroom Improvements

By Alan B. Combs.

This tale came to mind after mishearing a conversation between Jason Epstein and Jason Dias at a restaurant after a recent O. Henry International PunOff Championships. Being a little deaf can enhance marital discord, but it does lead to puns.


“It’s time to change the bathroom tile!” she said. Actually, the time was long overdue, three decades in fact. It wasn’t that I was lazy, no not ever that. Over the years I had tried removing … Read the rest...

In Praise of Lance

By Alan B. Combs


Even though he belongs to the world, Austin is Lance Armstrong’s hometown. Last night, along with 40,000 other folks, we participated in a “Welcome home, Lance. ” event. From children to old folks, yellow shirts were the order of the evening. People were happy, mellow, and very vocal in their support and cheers for their hero. The only thing missing was beer to make it a real bikeanalia.… Read the rest...