Heaven forfend the wily ones
Who activate the Punning Guns.
They once had wit, but it’s on loan
And now they’ll cause a worldwide groan
Throughout the English-speaking lands
Weighed down with cumbersome demands
To ever-show their cleverness
And hide caused-by-creation mess
When they truly try their level best
To use words well, and manifest
The so-clear thoughts that show they’re smart
And more rational than their counterpart
Whose jokes in order to rebut
No better than "Jane, you ignorant slut!"
But it’s the laugh, remembered most
The zinger from a smarmy host,
Insulting cracks, still coming nigh,
Like "I know you are, but what am I?"
It’s not discourse; it’s dissonance;
And lets the drowning-out commence
But for a time, it was the noise
Preferred by many hoi polloi-s
Preparing to complete the day
With this late-night bad joke display
That flickered, on their own TVs,
The sickly light of some disease
…Maybe it made them think a thought
Maybe it made them think a lot
Or perhaps concoct a strong bon mot
That was deeper than "That singer’s hot!"
But skeptical, I am (you guessed?)
And so this doggerel’s addressed
To one less thing I need to watch
That raised discussion not one notch.
"Wit has truth in it; wise-cracking is simply calisthenics with
words." – Dorothy Parker, 1958
© Christopher Walsh, 2004. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Christopher Walsh (chris_walsh) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.