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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 26, 2014 / 24 Adar II, 5774

The Pun and Only

By Jerry Zezima




JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) As a guy who has always loved puns, and has been known to use as many as 10 at a time (even if they don't work, I can say, "No pun in 10 did"), I had long looked for a venue where my wordplay would be ear relevant.

That's why I was happy as a clam, I will admit for shellfish reasons, to find out about Punderdome 3000, a monthly contest for people who have grown to love puns and audience members who have groaned to hear them.

Punderdome is the brainchild of entrepreneurial comic Fred Firestone and his real child, funny daughter Jo, who together, if you consider their surname, are two tires, though fortunately they are not too tired to put on a great show.

The latest one was held, as usual, at Littlefield, a fabulous performance and art space in Brooklyn, N.Y., where a tree grows because, of course, everything happens in trees.

I signed up, showed up and found myself in a crowd of about 400 young, happy and friendly people who were so eclectic that they must have paid the eclectic bill and so hip that I, clearly the oldest among them, figured I'd need a hip replacement.

I also was one of 17 contestants, who included individuals and two-person teams, which brought the total number of participants to about two dozen if you add them up, though you shouldn't divide them, especially if you are division-impaired.

When I registered with Jo in the Littlefield lobby, I had to pick a punny nickname, so I selected JZ because, I said initially, "They're my initials."


Fred and Jo took the stage (and gave it back) to explain the rules: Contestants would be given a topic and have a minute and a half to prepare. They would then be called up to a microphone and have two minutes to be off and punning.

Their scores would be registered on a "human clap-o-meter," on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest), based on the reaction of the crowd.

The first round was divided into three parts. My group, composed of six contestants, went last. The topic: sea creatures.

After the first contestant went, I stepped up to the microphone and said, "Before we started, he and I decided to swap puns. It was a squid pro quo."

The crowd went wild. "Your applause is so loud," I continued, holding my hand to my head, "I have a haddock."

I rattled off a stream of sea-creature puns. As my two minutes ended, I said, "Everything I said up here was on porpoise."

I got thunderous applause that registered at 9.5 and, along with two other punsters in my group, made the first cut.

The second round's topic: yoga. Since I don't do yoga, it was, I said, "a stretch," but after saying that the practice was invented by a famous baseball player, "Yoga Berra," I scored a 10 and went on, with three other contestants, to the semifinals.

The topic: the names of people you went to high school with.

I said I went to high school so long ago that many of the boys in my class became Founding Fathers. "Then there was the guy who became big in coffee: Joe. And the girl who became a lawyer: Sue."

I ended by saying that I went to college at Pun State.

My score: 10. I was in the finals! It was me against One-Two Punch, a team of two bright and funny young guys, Dylan DePice, 26, and Noah Berg, 24. There was no preparation time. We would stand at separate microphones and, for four minutes, volley puns. The topic: babies.

"My little granddaughter is so smart, she's studying Shakespeare," I began. "The other day I heard her say, 'To pee or not to pee, that is the question.'"

This gave birth to a series of infantile comments ("We're in a womb with a view") that whipped the crowd into a frenzy.

My score: 10. I won! I was Punderdome champ.

My prize: a chocolate fountain and fondue maker. I brought it home to my wife, who has had to put up with my puns all these years. It was the least I could fondue.


Jerry Zezima Archives

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Stamford Advocate columnist Jerry Zezima is the author of two books, "Leave It to Boomer" and "The Empty Nest Chronicles."

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