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.

The Potters’ Mantra

By Alan B. Combs

This is a secret I learned in the local Pottery Barn, a place that sells knick knacks and other things made of pottery. Certain lines of pottery are crafted by tribal artisans who take great pride in their work.

Recently, one of the tribes fell on hard times because of the economy and had to branch out into other endeavors. They decided that next to pottery they were most skilled in thuggery, skulduggery, and murder. Soon … Read the rest...

Omens for a Good Day

By Alan B. Combs. This was my second submission to the Bulwer-Lytton bad writing contest. Perhaps, it was too blatant a pun. I did use it as a throwaway gag at the PunOff this year.

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...

Monarchy Menarche

By Alan B. Combs

It is a difficult life being the King of a small country. If I’ve said it before, it bears repeating. The demands are endless and one is never off duty. It is particularly difficult to have a private life, unless one has adequate supplies of large castles, moats, dragons, etc., all of which are expensive and hard to come by. It is even more difficult in those countries in which the Crown is more virtual than … Read the rest...

Suitors Losing Their Head?

By Alan B. Combs with a topper by Howell Gwinn.

Kings are not a happy lot, generally. “Heavy hangs the head that wears the crown,” it is said. This is especially true if the king is a father of a voluptuous and eligible daughter, one so desirable that suitors are overcome by the temptation of her presence.

It happened over and over again with one royal family. Untenable suitors would make come onto his daughter and make unwelcome advances.

Eventually, … Read the rest...

How it Happened

By Alan B. Combs

Margaret Hamilton played Almira Gulch and her alter ego the Wicked Witch of the West in the classic movie, “The Wizard of Oz”. What is little known is that Ms. Hamilton played the same evil-natured plains character, Almira, in a western about Kansas during the extreme drought.

Her family became knowns as thieves and they hid out in the dry river beds. Thus, they became known as dry gulchers.… Read the rest...

Another PUNY Bunny

This is a recent pun cascade on PUNY by the usual suspects.

Surely, I must have stolen this from someone, but it just came to me while filing away a series of MS Word documents for the PC.

One should be titled “What’s Up.doc”.

Alan B. Combs

Surely a document of 24-carrot quality.

Bob Dvorak

My system certainly has enough Bugs in it.

Jason Dias

Uh Oh! Somebody ought to warn our brothers that the puns are about to get … Read the rest...

For the Birds

by Alan B. Combs

A friend of mine who loves animals recently failed in his latest effort at entremaneurship. You see, he tried his hand working for a local large pet store. Everything went well until it was time to move all the birds from one end of the store to the other. He was a total failure at this job. Most of the birds just would not move. Only the parakeets would budge.… Read the rest...

Meal with Gary and a Punish Friend

By Alan B. Combs

A couple of weekends ago I had the opportunity for a meeting with munpastor Gary Hallock, his punster friend, Lloyd E. Dissmore of Kenosha, Wisconsin, and a couple of traveling companions, Dottie and Barbara. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting Gary, you quickly learn the ask the question, “How can you tell when he is telling puns?” The most obvious answer is borrowed from a similar maxim about politicians, “Is his mouth moving?” The … Read the rest...

Damn Spammerz

By Alan B. Combs

I look at my mail in a glance,
And then I am looking askance.
Via]gra! Enlargement!
Be as big as a barge-ment
Damn spammers are scanning my pants.… Read the rest...

Dancing Pirates

By Alan B. Combs

Untold riches. That is the goal of any self-respecting buccaneer. Gold, rubies, diamonds, bullion — all are acceptable plunder for these thieves of the high seas.

When the the ill-gotten gains are particularly good, many brigands will put their goods in a sack and swing the swag above their heads. Then they dance around in a little wiggle-waggle jig very similar to that adopted by many NFL players who have just made a touchdown.

Indeed, it … Read the rest...

Bulimia Nervosa

By Alan B. Combs with addenda from PUNY and my mailing list.

There has been much press recently about a purported epidemic of obesity in the country, a condition that is not contagious, but certainly is spreading. More rare, but even more life-threatening conditions are bulimia and anorexia. These are obsessive/compulsive conditions characterized by inappropriate body image where they imagine they are too fat. In response to this image, these people fast excessively, purge themselves, and when they do eat … Read the rest...

Thoughts on Nostradamus

By Alan B. Combs with an added comment cascade from usenet’s alt.callahans..

Channel surfing these days will almost inevitably bring you across a discussion of the writings of Michel Nostradamus, the famous French seer of the 16th Century, the one who many folks feel wrote amazing and accurate prophesies of the events of our times.

An example of one of his more famous quatrains (Century #2 Quatrain #24), translated from the French, is:

Beasts ferocious from hunger will swim across … Read the rest...


by Alan B. Combs. After posting this on PUNY (Punsters United Nearly Yearly), the following cascade resulted. I wrote the first version of this tale nearly twenty years ago.

Not that I can do it, but I routinely skim the medical literature to try to keep up professionally. Several years back, I came across an article in the New England Journal of Medicine called “Salmonellosis associated with marijuana: a multistate outbreak traced by plasmid fingerprinting”, (New England Journal of Medicine … Read the rest...

Starring Auntie Em as the Good Witch, Glinda

This was a recent pun cascade on the PUNY listserv.

It can be very difficult, when asked to write a story or a play, to not base any characters on people you already know. When you are a teenager, more often than not this means that your family members play some part in the part in your play, whether you intend them to or not.

This was just the case for Dorothy. Her drama class had written plays the year … Read the rest...

Draft Dodging

By Alan B. Combs

Most of you, but not all, are too young to remember the days of the military draft, though certain overage politicos these days seem quite willing to recreate the exercise. During the Vietnam War, many considered that being drafted provided many opportunities to get killed along with very few other benefits.

This is the story of one person who tried very hard to become classified 4F, status: draft ineligible. Medical conditions were the most common reasons … Read the rest...

Creases in Japan

By Alan B. Combs. This is among my best or worst work, as the case may be.

There are many different athletic endeavors in Japan, ranging from Sumo to gymnastics. This tale is about a group of female gymnasts who wanted to actually make a living pursuing their art.

Their problem was the competition. Even though they were among the most skillful groups out there, there were just too many similar acts for them to break out of the crowd.… Read the rest...

Etude Indigo

By Alan B. Combs with commentary by Bob Levi

Tiny amounts of cobalt added to glass during the manufacturing process produce a deep, rich azure color. This art of glass coloration has been known since antiquity. However, a new characteristic of cobalt glass was discovered by musicians living in the Appalachian hills of Kentucky. Cups made of cobalt glass would ring with beautifully sustained tones when stroked or tapped. Bigger cups would resonate with low tones and the smaller ones … Read the rest...

Laconic Larry

By Alan B. Combs. This started out as an honorable pun and ended up as a shaggy puppy.

Larry was tall and laconic so, of course, he hated to waste words. “Why use two? One will do,” he was frequently heard to ask. People giving him simple conversation were likely to hear, “Too much, too long. Shorter.” This is a rapid way to lose friends, but Larry was unable to change his verbally sparse and alienating ways.

This irritating habit … Read the rest...

Naughty Dog

By Alan B. Combs

Overheard the other day at a party:

“I am about to kill my dog!”

“I thought that beautiful dog could do no wrong. What happened?”

“I was sorting through my old vinyl collection, and he came in and peed all over the most valuable ones, ruining several of the album covers.”

“I am sorry to hear that. I wonder why he did it?”

“I guess he just wanted to go on record.”… Read the rest...

Rock On

By Alan B. Combs. This was my entry in the 26th Annual O. Henry PunOffs in May 2003. I did much better this year, but the winners were just superb!

Most of you have probably heard of the wrestler-turned-movie-actor known as The Rock. This is the tragic tale about his trying to become a physician.

This was his ambition, this powerful drive to become a doctor because as a youth he was on emergency DYE-ALYSIS — which turned him a … Read the rest...

Kobe B Kobe

By Alan B. Combs with comment by rosecatt

It came to my mind today (though surely someone else must have come up with this joke before now) that Kobe Bryant buying his wife a $4 million diamond was nothing but a piece offering.

rosecatt tells us, “It might also be a case of ‘too little too laker………..'”… Read the rest...

Trouble in a Coal Mining Town

By Alan B. Combs

I was talking with my aunt from West Virginia the other day. She was distraught and not totally coherent, but she said the sheriff had come to take her dog away.

I asked her, “Why ever would he do a thing like that?”

She replied, “I really don’t understand it, but it seemed to have something to do with one of the types of coal we mine from around here.”

“Something to do with anthracite?,” I … Read the rest...

Bad feelings

By Alan B. Combs

And there was a derivative thing I wrote long ago about the time I was sitting on the ocean shore feeling remorse and deep regret for all the bad things I had done. Along came a boatload of brigands who captured and took all my bad feelings away.

Yes, they were the pirates of penance.… Read the rest...

The Road to Hell Is Paved

By Alan B. Combs

Regardless of the theology, many of us are familiar with the concept of “The Promise Keepers” who make a pledge to their Lord, their families, and themselves to live the righteous life on the straight-and narrow. Without Divine Help, this probably is not possible.

In response to the difficulties involved in staying true to the ideals of The Promise Keepers, certain people have banned together to create a group with less lofty goals and more attainable … Read the rest...

Alternative Baghdad News Sources

By Alan B. Combs

We can get another approach to the televised international news these days. In addition to our own news people, we can watch news clips that originate from middle east countries such as those represented by the Arab Emirates.

Why, just the other day, there was an item about the plight of the National Zoo in Baghdad. “Who will we get to tell our sad tale of woe and hardship in the primate house?” asked one of … Read the rest...