The Pun Exchange, Featuring Shawn L. Bird

Shawn L. Bird is a poet, a novelist, and an educator. Here is my artist’s conception of her, but I do not do her justice, and I hope you visit her site to find that that is true.


Recently Shawn posted an “Unfinished Canadian Joke” about a beaver crossing the road, thus:

On the side of the highway:

a body of thick fur and flat leathery tail.

Why did the beaver cross the road?

I guess we’ll never know.

I commented, thus:

Because with Beavers it’s one dam thing after another.

She replied, thus:

You should lodge a complaint.

And from then on it went like this:

Gary: I tried, but my tail fell flat.
Shawn: Keep gnawing at it, and I’m sure it’ll work out.
Gary: Is that incisor information?
Shawn: Dam right! Stick to it!
Gary: Would that I could, but I can’t afford to be chewsy. [sad face]
Shawn: Yes, you have to beavery careful…
Gary: I’ll bite–why?
Shawn: It wood be quite a tail to explain.
Gary: That’s fine, as long as it’s not pulp fiction and I can sink my teeth into it.
Shawn: O no, it’s tree-mendous.
Gary: Ah, sweet Miss Tree of Life. No wonder you’re so poplar. And why aren’t I? Elmentary, my dear Watson…
Shawn: Well now we’re branching out, aren’t we?
Gary: I beleaf so.
Shawn: I willow you for this!
Gary: Weep not, O Poet. I know payback’s a beech.

Shawn, in her e-mail kindly granting permission to make a post of this, says, “I’m still pondering my rebuttal! You may have won the pun-off! [winky face]”  But rebuttal or no, she is the winner: She inspired, she generously gave of her time and wit, and she gave as good or better than she got. She proves that the much-maligned Pun has layers of value, as a vehicle for playfulness, as a way of geometrically expanding reality, and as an engagement of mind that helps stave off mind-loss. Life handled lightly from time to time is more enjoyable, and this is one way to enjoy it. Thank you, Shawn!

  1. Reblogged this on Shawn L. Bird and commented:
    I’m re-blogging a post about myself on another blog. Is that terribly narcissistic of me? This was an entertaining exchange! 🙂

    • One person’s Terribly Narcissistic is another’s Delightfully Celebratory. I’d say you’re in the latter category. Thanks again!

  2. it’s just honouring the honour that blog has shown to your amazing talent!

    • I truly DID want to honor Shawn and her talent. Glad you see that!

    • My half of the writing team thanks you! [winkface]

      • My half of the writing team concurs!

      • Pleasure is all mine 🙂

  3. I love exchanges like this!
    You should be badgered to do another sett!

    • I hope we do gopher another one sometime, of our own vole-ition. [smile] Can’t force it, though!

      • I in ferret is not appropriate to do it now!

      • Sure you’re not just trying to weasel out of it? 🙂

      • I rodent to that one with mice wide open, didn’t I?

      • You may be rat about that, but we should all defur judgment…

  4. My novel, Grace Awakening is dedicated to my friend, Lloyd. He was a friend in high school, and he was extremely punny. We had many exchanges like this. He died twenty years ago, but I created a character named after him, who shares his punning style, and sometimes it seems like he is still alive, on the pages. Every once in a while a reader will sigh and remark, “I just love Lloyd” and it always makes me sadly happy.

    • Gladly sad that his spirit thrives through your good efforts. It puts the Sweet in Bittersweet…

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