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.

Longhorn Lament

By Alan B. Combs

As a college professor, I can stand back and watch the changes in education as they occur. In some respects, things are better, and in others not so good. With respect to expenses, everything is more costly. Here at The University, the home of the Illustrious Longhorns, even as we stay inexpensive in a relative sense, the cost is creeping up. It is creeping up even as you read this tale. Daily we hear the story … Read the rest...

Shaggy Texas History

By Alan B. Combs

The reactors for the South Texas Nuclear Project went online in 1988 and 1989 in Matagorda County near Houston. Having gone through the seemingly mandatory processes of construction cost overruns, operator malfeasance, and subsequent lawsuits, this project one day may be able to help in our country’s energy crisis. Perhaps.

However, this tale is more about the political problems involved in creating a nuke in the first place. The first question one asks is, “Where shall … Read the rest...


(By Alan B. Combs) I wrote this stinker many years ago and have used it in my toxicology class occasionally since then. I do not remember sending it to my mailing list, nor is it on the web collection. I must have sent it somewhere, however. I found it on a web-collection of puns last night. I do hope the lady that got incensed because she thought we were advocating kicking polar bears in the ice-hole doesn’t read it.

Single … Read the rest...

As Shaggy As they Get

By Alan B. Combs with a comment by Christopher Boote.

This story is one hundred percent the truth. I would never lie about such a thing. Among many other interests, my father was an amateur naturalist, but with a strange sense of humor. One of the things that came to me as part of my inheritance (my sisters all rejected it) was a book by Robert A. Wallace, called “How They Do It: From Cats to Bats and Sharks to … Read the rest...

1002 Arabian Nights

By Alan B. Combs. Since I am spending most of the week in Baghdad By the Bay, I am reminded of this tragic episode.

The story is told that the fair maiden Sherazade in order to save her life told a marvelous and entertaining story to King Schariar every night. Because the King so loved these tales, he refrained from killing her and many of the virgins the King was putting to death. These tales have come down to us … Read the rest...

Perils of a Gigolo

By Alan B. Combs. The punchline was inspired by a cartoon by Myke Ashley-Cooper and is used with his blessing. Myke has several web sites for his cartoons, [] and [], to name a couple.”

It kept on running through Fred’s head, that Louis Prima song, the one that goes, “I’m Just a gigolo, everywhere I go people know the part I’m playing.” Yeah, the song had it pretty much correct. Everyone knew Fred’s occupation, not that it bothered him … Read the rest...

A Shaggy Tale of Two Cities

By Alan B. Combs with advice and consent from Pun Mistress, Ms. Scarlett O’Herzele.

One might expect that cities that are geographically close to one another would be either very friendly and cooperative, or very hostile and competitive. For the two French Canadian Cities Gayle and Geaux, it was the latter. Now you purists might claim these cities don’t exist. Reading between the lines, however, and for the sake of this tale, they do, they do. Just take my word … Read the rest...

On The Veldt

By Alan B. Combs. (By now, you should have seen so many of these things that I can give this one to you as a riddle.)

The lion and his females, in a fit of great hunger and rash stupidity, attacked an old bull elephant. Well, they got their butts kicked. The lion and his females were barely able to escape with their lives. The lion looking back over his shoulder as he was running away said, “You may have … Read the rest...

At the Cafeteria

by Alan B. Combs

My wife and I sometimes eat at public cafeterias — Wyatt’s, Luby’s, etc. It is not so much that the food is so wonderful, but rather that it is fast, straight-forward American cooking, it is not excessively expensive, and it is not a quarter-pound heart attack in disguise. My only reservation is that there are so many of those grey-haired old farts eating there that we much younger guys feel out of place.

There is not … Read the rest...

To Dance Again

By Alan B. Combs

Fred and Ethel were approaching the end of their years. In the early years of their marriage, they had been very avid dancers.

Tragically, the music they loved went down the drain with the advent of Elvis, the Beatles, and the Stones. This was not music to which they could dance. In fact, it would be hard to say that this abominable stuff was actually music.

But to their delight, the wheel turned during the 90s. … Read the rest...

My Strange Friend

By Alan B. Combs

As several people know, I have many strange friends. In fact, you may be among that group, but only you and I know for sure. I do have to tell you about one of these characters, a person who is very hard to evaluate.

When I first went to his house to visit, I found he had a large room dedicated to an accumulation of wax statues, a wax museum, if you will. (See? I told … Read the rest...

Big Wind Blowing

By Alan B. Combs

A traveling salesman found himself waiting in a room that was particularly breezy. In fact, there seemed to be a heavy wind blowing throughout. He looked around and saw that the floor was almost totally covered with vents and louvers, and that the airflow was constant.

He asked the receptionist, “Does it always blow like this?”

“Yes, always.”

“Doesn’t it ever let up?”

“Not ever. It blows constantly.”

“How can that be?”

“Look around you. Don’t … Read the rest...

Shakespeare, Kahn, and my friend Gary

by Alan B. Combs

Many of you are familiar with our Fearless Leader, Gary Hallock, Punster Extraordinaire, from whose lips wordplay flows like photons of light from a Fourth of July sparkler. I’ll bet, however, you haven’t heard of his long-forgotten uncle, a poverty-stricken clock-maker from Ye Old Country. This gentleman’s specialty was refurbishing large grandfather clocks. His work was of excellence that these mechanisms became known for their elegant workmanship and great accuracy.

It was during the War, however, … Read the rest...

Pica! Pica!

By Alan B. Combs

In other forums, I have decried certain of the problems of getting old. A new, unexpected one is a problem with severe itches in the middle of my back, just where arms with reduced mobility cannot reach. It works to back up to a door jamb and rub against it much the way cows can be seen to rub against a fence post. (I know that model doesn’t work well for all you City Folks, but … Read the rest...

Hart to Take (Dear Me)

by Alan Combs

Secondary, perhaps, to puns, Stan Kegel and I share a professional interest in things cardiological. Along this line, we are in an era in medicine when we are finding that certain diseases long plaguing humankind have a bacterial etiology. In other words, the disease actually is the result of a bacterial infection. It has been known for many decades that a streptococcal infection can cause damage to heart valves. More recently, we have learned that certain types … Read the rest...

Pollex Verde

by Alan B. Combs. I can’t even tell you how this one came to me, and certainly you wouldn’t want to know.

Bill was a farmer by trade, but the level of his success could most accurately be described as wretched. He used all the modern fertilizers and sophisticated techniques recommended by Ag Extension at That-Excellent-Institution-at-College-Station, but nothing worked. The neighbors’ crops were bumper, while his were blooper at best. He faithfully planted good seeds and grew nothing but tares. … Read the rest...

Woes of Dudley Doright

By Alan B. Combs in a common moment of silliness

Many of the punsters in this audience are fans of Rocket J. Squirrel and Bullwinkle Moose. There is great sadness that these programs are no longer regularly shown, except in syndication.

The lack of regular showing of these programs fell particularly hard on Dudley Doright, R.C.M.P. He was out of a job, and he had a woman to woo and horse to feed, or visa versa.

Recently Dudley heard about … Read the rest...

Feghoot Woody

By Alan B. Combs — based on a character created by Reginald Bretnor.

Ferdinand Feghoot visited the planet Sycamore y Robles during the end of the breeding season of the year 3725. The many high mountains were in flower and they were particularly beautiful that season. The termite-like inhabitants were large by Terran standards, the queens sometimes encompassing the length and breadth of a 21st Century American soccer field.

After traditional nuptials culminated by eating of the drained drones, the … Read the rest...

A Shaggy Dog at M. D. Anderson

by Alan B. Combs

Much, if not all of this is the truth. I will let you decide exactly how much. Every so often, we toxicological wizards have to go to professional meetings. There was one last Friday and Saturday in Houston, a meeting of the local chapter of the toxicology society. The meeting was mostly a chance for the graduate students to show their work, but I did come away with one new consideration.

We met at Houston’s M. … Read the rest...

Feghoot on Broadweigh

By Alan B. Combs, based upon a character created by Reginald Bretnor.

Ferdinand Feghoot and Fleet Officer Worf were accidently marooned on the planet Broadweigh. They were able to bring only a few artifacts with them. Feghoot had some red and white pieces of felt cloth, and Worf was carrying a large, hollow ruby called the Eye of Klingon. This important jewel was to be delivered to the Klingon government as a token of fealty by one of the powerful … Read the rest...

A porcelain guide by night and bidet

By Alan B. Combs

This is a tale of commercial competition in the making and sales of fine porcelain and china. Noritake, Wedgwood, Mikasa, Lenox and others are among the world’s most famous brands. Buying a collection of any of these could deplete the whole retirement, I’m afraid.

Mikasa is a previously stodgy Japanese company that has been wanting to expand its markets, particularly in Latin America. Along this line, they have been searching for sales mottos that would show … Read the rest...


By Alan Combs

It has been interesting the last few weeks watching certain neighbors down the street prepare for a festive occasion at their house. A week ago, I saw them bring in a couple of cases of whipped cream in squirt cans. The next day, they brought in several bottles of Wesson oil, the gallon size. My suspicions were aroused the next day then they hauled in a gross of Trojan condoms. Last night it came to me. They … Read the rest...

Phantom Shopping Center

by Alan B. Combs

Over the last few days, I have been watching with amazement the reconstruction of one of our large indoor shopping centers. What they have been doing is painting the place in a red and black motif, and they have constructed large artificial horns on the top.

I finally figured it out when they advertised they are going to rename the place “Darth.”… Read the rest...

The Latest in Aerogels

by Alan B. Combs

This is dedicated to that campy, beautiful, buxom, slinky creature who is the epitome of bad taste in late night television. I love her.

One of the current technological areas of great interest to many is in the creation of aerogels. These are solids that are composed mostly of air, not unlike whipped sea-foam, but lighter.

One part of this effort is dedicated to using viruses to biosynthetically create these aerogels. In particular, there is much … Read the rest...

William Jefferson

by Alan B. Combs

This shaggy is mostly mine. I can only blame certain current events which made me write it.

This is the tale of Bill, a pretty good auto mechanic. His shop was quite popular. Keeping his prices affordable, however, reduced his income below acceptable levels. Instead of raising prices, Bill decided to try moonlighting in the evenings (so to speak). The best paying job he could find was in a local circumcision ward.

Alas, the job did … Read the rest...