Did you hear the one about the kleptomaniac? His doctor told him to take something for it.
How about the painter who was hospitalized for too many strokes?
Or what about the lady with amnesia who had to re-learn how to walk up the stairs, step by step?
These and other such acts of depraved punnery come naturally to me due to a junior high penchant for class-clownery. Fortunately my sense of humor has evolved slightly, at least to the point where I’m now aware that puns are best used as a means of torturing my family to induce the awkward glares that serve to fortify my position as the dominant male of the household. Puns are the true test of familial loyalty.
But what if the puns came not as a conscious effort to fill the surrounding air with groans, forehead slaps and loathing? What if there was some sort of medical condition that exhibited itself through involuntary pun-making? And what if a guy who was allergic to cats were to rush out and buy one anyway? Would it be considered a rash decision?
I make no apologies for the fetid stank of wince-worthy humor in this introduction. There is simply no better way to unfurl the horrors of witzelsucht.
Imagine if you will a 30-year-old theological scholar, an intellectual man with a solid reputation. He is admitted to the department of neurology due to some inexplicable irritability, a nasty case of hyperphagia (meaning he can’t stop eating), and some really unusual behavior. He spouts puns like most of us drop small-talk pleasantries. This occurs more frequently during stressful moments, like when nurses come in to take some blood or when his doctors are doing their rounds. Maybe he comments on how his back used to hurt, but that’s all behind him now. Perhaps he expresses his dislike for needles, as they really get under his skin. Read more…
Since nothing sells better than graphic sex and nauseating violence, I was hoping Wikipedia would help me launch this project with something juicy. I tried to weave a sexy yarn into some prose about the Rugby Club Pobednik, but I was starting to creep myself out. Luckily, another click of the mouse brought me to Mr. Phineas P. Gage, the tamping-iron-through-the-head-guy. Perfect.
In 1848 Gage was a grunt worker in a work gang, laying down the roadbed for the Rutland & Burlington Railroad, a small line in the American northeast. Phineas was part of the blasting crew, which he no doubt hooked up with so he could pick up chicks (or whatever girls were called in the 1840s). He was 25, he was the crew foreman; Gage had it going on.
I like the part of disaster bios when they paint the victim’s picturesque, ideal life before the incident, so I’m going to stretch this out. Let’s see… Gage had just won a case of sarsaparilla by betting on a cockfight tournament. His years-long letter-writing campaigns to establish both Wisconsin as a state and bring about the end of the Mexican-American War had recently been successful. Also, he had train tickets to head out to California to pan for gold ahead of the big rush, leaving on September 14.
There, that sounded convincing. All was rosy and glorious – everything was coming up Phineas. Then, on the afternoon of September 13, right as Gage was reflecting on his good fortune (and, for the sake of drama, let’s say he was also planning on releasing some dirty information that would have crippled Zachary Taylor’s current presidential campaign), it happened. Read more…