For those of you who feel like hopping a plane to Austin, TX, the
30th annual O. Henry Musuem Punoff — a world championship event — is scheduled there May 19. The contest begins at high noon and continues until 5 p.m. The punoff consists of two competitions. The "Punniest of Show" contest is a 90-second freestyle event for punsters using prepared material. In the "High-Lies & Low-Puns" competition, contestants battle in word play on a topic with a strict time limit.
The museum is a former home of the short-story writer William Sidney Porter, who used the pseudonym “O. Henry.” He is known for his wit, word play and twist endings. His most famous story is "The Gift of the Magi."
Puns are often considered the lowest form of wit, but they can be high art. Here are a few decent ones from a Painfully Great Puns blog entry:
Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns to the other and says, “Dam!"
Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says "I've lost my electron." The other says "Are you sure?" The first replies "Yes, I'm positive."
A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, "I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger."
Got puns? If you need some inspiration, check out:
Bennett Cerf’s Treasury of Atrocious Puns by Bennett Cerf.
Leo Rosten’s Carnival of Wit by Leo Rosten.
Puns and Games by Richard Lederer.
Otter Nonsense by Norton Juster.