It’s long been a dream of mine (since I first heard this was a thing about five whole years ago) to go to Austin, Texas to compete in and win the O. Henry Pun-Off.
Obviously, I won’t be going this year as I didn’t take a good look at the dates until the time was u-pun and ultimately past us (heh), but it got me to thinking…
How does one efficiently prepare for such a contest?
In my possibly unpopular o-pun-ion (ha), it wouldn’t be easy.
Why, you ask (besides the obvious–that you’d need to be really good with puns)?
Well…I’ll make a list.
1. In order to prepare, you’d probably want to practice with someone. And they’d need to be better than you in order to keep you on your toes, which could potentially lead to a crisis of confidence. That’s the part where you start thinking, “Gee. If they’re so good, why don’t they compete instead of me? Why are they helping? Should I be encouraging them to take my spot? Or was that the strategy all along? Yeah, that’s it. Very sneaky, o worthy adversary.”
2. I’m not sure if I have a second item to add to this list. Technically, this means I don’t have much of a list and I should have just written a couple of paragraphs. Darn. Now I have to come up with a third item to make this a real list. I don’t even have a good pun to add, meaning that I probably shouldn’t even be thinking about doing this contest in the first place. (See also: Item No. 1 on this “list.”)
3. Oh…wait. Maybe I do have something to say. If you practice with someone, you might also want to involve a third party to judge each pun’s worthiness in the practice sessions. Still, if they’re able to identify them that easily, they could also be better at this than you are, once again beginning that self-confidence spiral.
Okay, let’s try to keep this short and sweet, because it’s about to be 2019 and I will have things to do in 2019.
This is a summary, so forgive me if I leave out a few details. Currently, a full transcript of Things I Did In 2018 is unavailable. (2018 isn’t completely over yet anyway. Duh.)
Things I Did In 2018:
I stopped automatically writing 2017 on all paperwork, documents, and checks sometime around my birthday. In February.
I moved east of the Mississippi River. I began to understand and appreciate the value of playing Tetris for hours at a time during my formative years once I had to downsize. (Come over sometime and take a look at my closets. I tried not to hum Russian music faster and faster as the piles of boxes climbed up the walls when I was unpacking.)
I took more photos. That’s what photographers do.
I wrote more stuff. That’s what writers do.
I wrote lists. That’s what really meticulous people do.
I left grocery stores with a lot more than what was originally on those lists. That’s what hungry shoppers will do.
I decided not to make any resolutions for 2019. That’s mainly for self-esteem purposes, because it’s a little bit demoralizing to find yourself cancelling a gym membership on January 3.
I didn’t win the lottery, but I don’t know anyone who did, so that’s not really a big deal.
I stopped watching as much television. I don’t really feel any smarter, but I don’t feel as though I’ve missed out on much, either.
I probably left out a few things, like what I had for breakfast on April 12 or how long I waited on my last oil change, but I’m working on brevity in my writing since we live in a 140-characters-or-less kind of world these days.