} > > ZOT!!! < <
} Oh, no, not you, supplicant. Please - come out - no, there was a
} fly buzzing about your head.
} Little known to most people, the Oracle is an avowed Paranomasiast.
} No, that is not some perversion, you twisted little maggot. Well,
} not some sexual perversion anyway. That is a fancy term for one who
} enjoys, and makes, puns. I have no doubt improved your knowledge as
} it stands now by providing you with an increase to your vocabulary,
} but *sigh* I suppose that does not answer your question...
} The New Encylopedia Brittanica says that a pun is "Two disparate
} strings of thought tied together by an acoustic knot." The oracle
} likes that definition, as it strikes a pleasant cord, er, chord.
} Actually, I should move along from that - as I have a virtual punorama
} of plays on words, it could make your answer tedious.
} Actually, the Oracle has never considered this subject,but I must
} confess that omniscience does not require that the answer to each
} question be at the forefront of one's mind. There are several theories
} regarding this phenomena.
} The first is based on the fact that though the pun is often referred
} to as the lowest form of humor, it is one to which most people almost
} universally appreciate. This theory states that it is not the pain
} of hearing the pun itself that hurts, but the instant of thinking
} "Why didn't I come up with that first?" Medically speaking, this
} phenomena is known by the name of "Punus Envy." However, as even
} people who eschew puns often find themselves suffering this, this
} theory is not all encompassing enough to be a complete answer.
} The second theory states that most humor is had at the expense of
} someone else's embarassment or suffering, hence, a pun is humor based
} on one's own embarassment or suffering. To test and demonstrate this
} theory, I'll need some help..... hmmmm
} O: Hoi, ZADOC!!!!
} Z: (Crawling through doorway prostrate, banging head on floor)
} Yes, your illustriousness! Oh, provider of Wisdom to the universe!
} Sagacious keeper of the secrets of ages! He who knows the unknown
} passages in the Necronomicon! You whose sweaty socks I am unfit to
} gag upon!
} O: Silence, Zadoc, you snivelling Worm! It took you a full half
} second to crawl in here! How dare you keep me waiting?
} Z: (wailing) Mercy, you pusullaminous Pontificance! (rends robe)
} I stand before you, Mighty One, an abject ball of slime! I am as
} W**dch*ck snot beneath your gaze!
} O: (aside) He's in rare form today...
} Z: (continuing) Rend me with your talons of wit, that I may better
} serve you! Blast me, Lord of The Library of Olympus, that I might
} glow and be a small sliver of light by which you may read! Squash me
} like the w......
} O: Enough, Zadoc!
} Z: Master?
} O: Just proving a point. (flips hand negligently) You may go now...
} Z: (Wailing louder, crawling backwards, and beating head harder
} against floor) Oh, I have been found even more unworthy! To be
} denied the Penance of the Holy *ZOT!* Woe! Woe is m.... (mercifully,
} this is cut off by the shutting of the door)
} You see, supplicant, even the anticipation of pain inflicted, in this
} case Zadoc's pain, proves humorous. It is however, the emotional
} pain which the pun is concerned with, so this theory, I am afraid,
} finds itself incomplete, though moving towards the right track.
} Okay, so I just wanted to torment Zadoc.....
} All in all, the answer lies in simple chemistry. A true pun, when
} correctly used, momentarily stuns the hearers, producing a brief
} instant of pain. The body, in reaction, pours out seratonin and other
} such chemicals almost instantly to dull the pain, leaving a warm and
} fuzzy feeling, and occasionally producing euphoria. (Hence the stifled
} giggles that often follow the groans of pain when a pun is uttered).
} You owe the Oracle some Monet, because he's Baroque.