Tarzan's Tripes Forever, and Other Feghoots

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Tom’s Nome-Grown Pun

Category: Puns

This is by “Tom Davidson”, and is posted with permission.

Once on a trip to Alaska I met two remarkable gentlemen. The fellows were born in The People’s Republic of China and had worked for many years as fishermen. One day a storm came up and blew them out to sea. They eventually landed in the port of Nome and while they were recovering from their experience in the local hospital they watched a lot of television and learned English, Inuit, and even Russian quite fluently.

These former fishermen decided to stay in the Land of Ice Milk and Honey, and asked for political asylum. Possibly because of the inflectional nature of their native Mandarin tongue, they developed quite a facility for making puns, and became quite entertaining to the citizenry.

Now, Nome is so isolated that there is a local saying “No roads lead to Nome,” which is quite true. All commerce must be done by ship or plane, as the local roads lead off into the back country, and stop in the middle of nowhere. Moreover, much of the entertainment is an indoor sport (because of the weather) and is performed on a snowshoe-string budget (Nome-grown). The crafting of puns is of course a popular thing to do in Nome, and when in Nome…

The Chinese punsters became local celebrities, and would spend hours every day in public taking suggestions from the bystanders and making the most extraordinary series of puns on subjects ranging from fish (lots of them) to trees (mostly unknown to the locals), to spices to fruit to nuts, and anything else the audience suggested, usually in multiple languages.

When I inquired about their phenomenal skills, my host pointed out “What else would you expect from a pair of Nome Asiatic?”

And when asked to explain it, Tom said, ” Look up “paranomasia” in your Funk and Wagnalls…”, and then he gave a URL to the (O. Henry) Punoff. I was so ashamed.

When I asked Tom for permission to post this pun, I received the following background information which is worth including. Tom says:

“The story is original with me. I was inspired by David Alan Coe’s “You Don’t Have to Call Me Darlin’, Darlin'”, which contains what some consider the finest lyric in C&W music: the “perfect Country Western song.” In one lyric there are references to Mom, trains, pick-up trucks, prison, and gettin’ drunk!

I was drunk the day my Ma got out of prison
So I went to pick her up in the rain
By the time I could get to the station in my pick-up truck
She got run over by a damned ol’ train

I felt I should write the perfect Feghoot, punning on the true name of all puns. Although there have been a plethora of puns on “pun”, I have never seen one on “paranomasia,” so I wrote one.”

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