Saturday I biked to downtown to the annual O’Henry Pun-Off, one of those quintessential Austin events that’s all about keeping it weird. A Pun-off is a tournament-style pun competition. Two contestants bravely take the stage and are given a category to make puns with. The first one to run out of puns is eliminated; winner moves on to the next round. It’s very intense!
Here’s the official sign. As I sat down, I heard this pun, in the “Desserts” category: “When I put my beer down, where did that brûlée?” (Get it? Brew lay? Bwahahaha.)
The winner of the entire pun-off (in green) and the winner of the MMMVP award (for best competitor) in the red. She also tied for 3rd.
1st-3rd place winners and the moderators, who weren’t so bad at punning themselves.
The voting boxes for the category for the 1st place competition. It was a donation based competition and “Insects and bugs” won with about $130. In a separate competition, the “Magic Tricks and Illusions”, there was this pun: “What is the favorite trick on the Enterprise? [pause] Pic-card, Pic-a-card!” Definitely apropos, considering that I saw the new Star Trek just this Friday.
Dueling it out in the semi-finals, a very funny “Diseases” round. My favorite pun came from the woman in the red, who had tons of very excellent literary references. “When Bernie picked a tie Jeeves didn’t like, Jeeves would throw a typhus.” (Also, she should’ve been given 1st place right then and there for a P.G. Wodehouse reference. Just sayin’.)
This young gentleman was the returning champ – he walked away with 2nd this year – who had the best delivery; very composed and well-timed. This is his “serious punning here” face!
The crowd, anxiously awaiting the next pun. It was a very relaxed atmosphere (with free admission to boot!). People brought books and dogs and knitting with them.
Best of all, they had a book sale going on. They had some fantastic deals going on – I picked up a couple of books, of course!
I had a beautiful bike ride down there, hot and humid. (No sarcasm; I actually do prefer to work out in blazing sunshine and outrageously high temperatures, preferably with high humidity. Don’t judge.) But then it got all overcast and windy on the way back and I had to go uphill against the wind for the last quarter mile or so, which nearly killed me. Hills are my biking nemesis.