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 society.

I am honored to meet Norm Gilbert. Other than interactions related to, I really had not met him, before. I thank him for his work on the Pundit, and I do especially like the on-line version.

Norm is a financial advisor in Toronto, but like so many of us, his real life is found in perpetrating word massacres. For example:

Once upun a time on a fork in the river Rhine there was a love triangle involving a handsome young shepherd, a beautiful princess and a sheep.

Our hero was herd to say to his loved one, “I love you.” When she asked, “How much?” he replied, “All of you.”

This was over-herd by the sheep (the obtuse side of the triangle) who became so sick with jealousy that her wool turned green and the boy cried, “Olive ewe!”

So, there are three hearts in this fable: The one that Cupid shot his arrow through, the one on the sleeve of the sheep, and . . . one’s up on a tine on the Rhine.

And Norm told us, “Dancing cheek to cheek is a type of floor play.”

And the professor’s discouraging remark to his student, “Thesis awful”.

And Norm told us about the transvestite letter carrier who was arrested for male fraud.

It could have been (but wasn’t) Norman Gilbert who told us the story of the wooden boy, Pinocchio. Instead of being on the Rhine in Germany, this boy grew up in a little town in Virginia where the main crop was tobacco.

As a pharmacist, I would predict this lad would not need any Viagra — he already had a woody.

Now, this was a lad destined for trouble, having the curse that his nose grew longer when he lied.

He tried to join the mafia, but they wouldn’t let him. Because of his enlarged nose, this group was afraid they might become known as the cosa nostril.

There are two other unfortunate characteristics you should know about this young man.

First, Pinocchio was a snoopy, nosy character who was constitutionally unable to mind his own business. Next, he hated tobacco. In this Virginia town whose total existence depended on tobacco, tobacco abolitionists were greatly despised.

So, Pinocchio was an overly snoopy character who shunned tobacco. It is no wonder he got into trouble with his “nose-poking behavior”.

Now, I should tell you some of Norm’s history:

While he was in college, Norman tried to put himself through school working at a strip club for English majors. The trouble was, he didn’t look any good in a dipthong.

While he was at school, he met Sherlock Holmes and asked him, “What is the favorite flower of inorganic chemists?”

The answer was, “Elementary, Dear Norman, germaniums.”

These particular flowers were especially the favorites of his sex-changed sibling, his trans-sister.

He met a young lady that wanted to get married and have lots of children, but he declined for reasons that are not readily apparent.

He considered becoming a gynecologist for Anna Nicole Smith, but he found he didn’t like obestity.

One of the folk arts in Norman’s town of Toronto is the construction of hand-sewn bed covers. This activity is so wide-spread and so encouraged, that those who are non-participants suffer from a quilty conscience.

I thank the International Save the Pun Foundation for my year as Punster of The Year. If you haven’t looked at it, Google “Tarzan’s Tripes Forever”. It’s a labor of love, or a love of labor, one or the other.

I think the Foundation has made an excellent choice in Norman Gilbert, and I thank him for coming down to Austin to be with us this year.

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