The Art of the Pun

Today’s topic was suggested by Zach L-S, who attends Swarthmore and is quite a proficient punner.

To begin, I’d like to share a very short story that I wrote today. It’s called “The Last Pun.” Hopefully it is much easier to interpret correctly than the poem in the last post. 🙂

The Last Pun

Main Street was bustling for this season. The townspeople flocked outside, eager to get ready for the circus show that came every two years. It was a sudden, almost secretive, event, for none of the people of the town discussed or even mentioned the show until the day it set to present. On any other day, you would not know a thing about the show. There was no way the tourist could have known, for he was preoccupied solely with a single flower staring at him from across the store window, an elegant rose—a perfect one for Grace.

She ought to be here anytime now, he thought. So he waited for five more minutes, sent her a text, and then, still unable to spot her among the busy crowd, walked into the store as if to browse the flower selection.

But the well-dressed tourist had his mind fixed already on that one dark rose, the one that was displayed prominently against the window. His eyes wandered but his thoughts stood still, encased in the perpetual illusion of selection.

It was that single rose that he bought for twenty bucks. A single one.

“John!” exclaimed a soft, friendly voice that he had heard many times before. He was overjoyed when she liked the rose, and it was decided that moment that they would see the botanical garden as the finale of their visit.

It was a small, local garden, and now the people had all gone to the circus, so the place was utterly empty other than themselves and the owner, an old man who had seen enough circuses in his life that he had no interest in going. They toured the garden in private. It was quite small really, and in ten minutes they had almost finished. Then something caught Grace’s attention: on one display all by itself was a red, unbloomed flower, still tightly compact. The stem was curvy, and the flower was quite high above the ground.

They began to read the label and learned that the name of the flower was the Pun. It was a rare flower that used to be grown commonly in private gardens. As time progressed, the flower lost its ability to survive in the wild. Some scientists theorized that it was due to the increasing amounts of toxic chemicals in the atmosphere. Others thought it was simply an ancient flower left behind by evolution.

The sign read “ENDANGERED.” In fact, the Pun standing before them was the only one remaining in the world. It was the only one of its kind. But the two tourists didn’t know that. Nobody knew that. It was a forgotten flower.

“It’s a beautiful flower,” said Grace.

“It hasn’t blossomed yet,” John replied.

Grace took out her notebook and began to draw something.

“What is that?” asked John, who could not see the drawing. “A Punnett square?”

“More like a Pun-nett sketch.” Indeed, on her notebook was an illustration of the Pun, the snapshot meticulously depicted with every detail.

The Pun stood there for a very long time, day after day, week after week, refusing to bloom. But it did not stay forever at the botanical garden. On the day that John and Grace were to be united, the flower was placed on top of the cake.

When this flower decides to bloom, it does so for only ten seconds. The longest blossom has been known to last 30 seconds. It is very beautiful when it does. Afterwards, it withers, it dissolves into the air. But John did not know about these magical properties of the Pun.

He had wanted to live with grace for a long time. But when the cake was presented and something looked horribly wrong about it, everyone became very confused. Something was clearly missing. What happened?

John rose up and declared, “Where is the flour?”


I hope with this story what I lacked in quantity of puns was made up for in dramatics. Anyways, I love puns. For this story I was inspired from a scene from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass (chapter 9), which introduced the flower/flour pun.

Enjoy the art of puns!

10 thoughts on “The Art of the Pun

  1. Haha! What may have been lacking in pun-tifulness was certainly compensated for by subtle references which Melody has kindly elucidated.


  2. The sad thing was that I was already facepalming when I read the word Grace. And btw, is the uncapitalized “grace” at the end supposed to be intentional? =P


  3. Whoa. Wow, I fEEl rEEally slow not gEEtting all of thEsE littlEE things you managEEd to insEErt! GEEnius, Sean. (I didn’t do the EE’s in your name, but only because I would feel bad for butchering it like that.)


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