Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Friday, June 29, 2012

Last One In Is A Rotten Egg

Well, we've reached the end of the series. Today's suggestion comes courtesy of Kate:
Nate Wilson walks into a bar. The bartender knocks him down with a pun pan, then the manager kneels a pun upon him, punning pinning him to the ground.

"What the hell, Dorothy? This is how you treat the guy who sent you so much business the past few weeks?"

"None of 'em paid."

"None of them? Really? Wow. Sure, I suppose that makes sense for the needle, sea-monkey, bowl of Rice Krispies, Jabba the Hutt, tuberculosis, penguin, Shakespeare, old shoe salesman, barista, barrister, barbarian, and goat, but I figured the priest and rabbi would've paid for the hooker."

"Nope. And now it's time for payback." She removes Nate's shoe and looks to the manager. "Give me your pun pen."

"Someone already numbered his foot," notes the manager.1

"What?! Who did this to you?!" asks the bartender.

"I can show you. Got any copies of today's New York Times?"

"Yeah, we've got some Times; the Willison Fire Company gives us their spare."2

The bartender grabs a newspaper from behind the bar. Nate directs her to an opinion column.

"The other Nate? That yahoo!"

"Dot, calm down," says the manager.

"Stealing my revenge... I'll kill him!"

"Tell you what, I'll take the photo, shop it around and see if anyone's seen him lately. You can stay here and work on his other foot. Here, use this marker."

"Blargh. I would have preferred a pen pun."

And that will do it for my 10-part series of things walking into bars. Or, counting the two initial posts that led to it, perhaps this was a 12-step program. Either way, it's over. It's been both challenging and fun, but now that I've gotten all those puns out of my system, I can get back to my novel and not worry about any errant puns derailing my train of thought.


1 Ooh, not only is this a reference to numbered footnotes (which, as you know, are not at all prevalent on this blog), but close friends may also remember my (as-of-yet-unwritten) novel in which the numbers on a newborn's foot determines how he lives his life.
2 I tried to do better than this. I really did. I just didn't try that hard.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Kid in the Bar

I started things off with a needle pulling thread. Here's what's filed into the bar since: a sea-monkey, a priest, rabbi, and hooker, a bowl of Rice Krispies, Jabba the Hutt, tuberculosis, a penguin with William Shakespeare, an old shoe salesman, and a barista, barrister, and barbarian.

Today's suggestion comes courtesy of Beverly Diehl:
A goat walks into a bar. The bartender steps outside and calls, "Hello? Anybody out here? We've got your goat."

"Very funny, kid."

"Whatever, you old goat. Now what do you want? And be quick about it. You shouldn't be in here."

"I want two things. First, a can of Coke, hold the Coke."

"You gonna eat the can? What a pig."

"A pig, me? Please. Second, I'm collecting donations for the Cub Scouts—"

"Curse the Cubs!"

The manager steps up behind the bartender and smacks him with a pan. "Billy! Don't be so gruff with the customers."


"Now get back behind the bar. And don't just stand there. Look alive, stock the shelves or something." He turns back to the goat as Billy heads to the bar. "Sorry about that. That kid's on rocky ground; complaints against him are mountin'."

"Maybe I should go."

"Nonsense, come to the kitchen with—"

"Yes, you should go!" yells Billy.

"Stay out of this! Again, I'm sorry. He's always trying to horn in on my private conversations. But, if you'll join me in the kitchen, we can talk about a donation."

"That's very kind."

They start walking toward the back. "So, Goat, heard of mutton curry? I'm just about to start a batch." The manager licks his lips.

Billy reaches out from behind the bar and grabs the goat as they pass. He whispers intensely, "Escape, Goat, while you still can. I tried to drive you off, but—"

There is a loud clang, and the bartender slumps to the floor. The manager places the pan on the counter, and puts his hand on the goat's shoulders, shepherding it into the kitchen.

"You know, if you don't mind staying a little while... I'd love to have you for dinner."

And then there was one. Only one more thing will be entering the bar.

And it's me.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Sidebar at the Coffee Bar

It all began with a needle pulling thread. Since then, these have pushed their way through the door: a sea-monkey, a priest, rabbi, and hooker, a bowl of Rice Krispies, Jabba the Hutt, tuberculosis, a penguin with William Shakespeare, and an old shoe salesman.

Today's alliterative trio comes courtesy of El Julio:
A barista, a barrister, and a barbarian walk into a bar. Barrett, the barrel-chested barbarian (he lifts barbells daily, barring conflict), barks a barrage of orders at the barkeep for mugs of barley and hops.

Barbara, the barista with the barbed wire tattoo and barrettes, barters with him to go half & half on some barbecue wings.

"Where's the baritone?" asks Barrett. "Without Barney, our barbershop quartet won't be complete for the bash at the club. They may cut our act. Though I suppose we could replace him with a bassoon."1

"You know," says Barbara, "someday I'd like to take a barge to the Great Barrier Reef, perhaps stopping at Barcelona and the Barbary Coast. Just imagine! There could be barracuda and barnacles and Barbarossa and—"

"What does that have to do with anything? Besides, you were raised in a barn. A trip like that might turn out to be more than you bargained for."

"You're always putting up barricades and barriers to my happiness."

"Am not. Say, Bartleby..." Barrett turns to the barrister. "You've been awfully quiet today, but you're always a good barometer for these sorts of arguments. What do you think?"

"I'm not Bartleby." The barrister removes his moustache. "Bartleby is dead."

"The Baron!!"

"Guilty as charged. You should have figured it out when I came in here, though. A barrister is basically a British lawyer, and a lawyer would have passed the bar. Or, whatever its English equivalent is."

"I think it's called a pub."

Two more to go. Next up's a goat.

1 There you go, Lisa. I have no idea why you wanted a bassoon in there, but it's in there.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Bar Gain Shoes

First into the bar was a needle pulling thread. Then came a sea-monkey, a priest, rabbi, and hooker, a bowl of Rice Krispies, Jabba the Hutt, tuberculosis, and a penguin accompanied by William Shakespeare.

Since my last post was this past Wednesday, perhaps you're wondering why it took so long for this next guy to find his way into the bar. Well, he's old. (Or maybe he just sells old shoes. I didn't ask.)

Anyway, today's suggestion comes courtesy of Lynn Proctor:
An old shoe salesman walks into a bar. As he takes a seat, the bartender says, "Jeez, you stink."

The old man sizes him up. "I advise you to bite your tongue, sir."

"But your odor will drive away my business."

"Tread lightly. Now I would like—"

"Perhaps you'd enjoy a seat on our patio? Honestly, your stench is beginning to clog my nasal passages."

"Sir, my patience with you is wearing thin. Now, I've been straight-laced my whole life, but I've been told I must try your signature drink."

The bartender arches one eyebrow. "The Steel Toad?"

"That's the one. My stepson recommends it highly. It's my sole reason for coming here."

"Stepson, huh? Wow, with your smell I'd have pegged you as a bachelor."

"Lord, you're such a heel. The converse is true. I'm married, with children."

"Let me level with you. It's an expensive drink, and not only do you stink, but you're shoddily dressed to boot. You sure you can foot the bill?"

The old man socks the bartender in the mouth and walks out.

With this subject matter, you probably expected at least one footnote, didn't you? Well, as they say, expect the unexpected.1 And come back soon; the alliterative trio of barista, barrister, and barbarian are barging in next.

1 Although, in this case, perhaps you should have unexpected the expected. Then again, I've ruined things by adding this, haven't I? Drat. That is so like me.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Behind Bars at the Zoo

So, a needle pulling thread started this whole endeavor. Then a sea-monkey entered the bar, followed by a priest, rabbi, and hooker, a bowl of Rice Krispies, Jabba the Hutt, and tuberculosis.

Today's original suggestion of a penguin was supplied by Katy Manck, though my wife Denise decided to complicate matters by throwing someone else into the mix:

A penguin and William Shakespeare walk into a bar. The penguin looks to the other and says, "What have we here? A man or a fish?"

Shakespeare studies the penguin. "You don't get out much, do you?"

"Not till this March. But I'm on the run now. That's why I'm hiding out in this dive. Morgan Freeman is stalking me at every turn."

"That doesn't sound so bad... though he did attack Rome, and kill Caesar." Shakespeare scans the room. "You should be careful. Where are you headed?"

"I have family in the sewers of Gotham."

"Oh, you shan't lose your tail in Gotham. Morgan Freeman's a fox."

They call over their server, who had been waiting in the wings, and order a couple cold ones.

"You know," says Shakespeare. "We're polar opposites, you and I."

"How so?"

"You know how to play right. You keep your feet happy. Mine oft turn tragic."

"I thought you called yours meter."

"Are you trying to egg me on?"


"Okay, I'll let it slide."

"Actually, I envy your work, William. O, to be black and white and read all over."

"Just let your ideas incubate for a while, and you might soar to great heights."

"What would you know about soaring? You're just a flightless bard."

This piece may not be as pun-filled as its predecessors, but hey, you try to write groan-worthy witticisms in 95° temperatures. It's entirely possible my brain has melted. Anyway, next one into the bar is an old shoe salesman, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Bar of Antibacterial Soap

This whole thing started with a needle pulling thread. Then a sea-monkey followed it into the bar, along with a priest, rabbi, and hooker, a bowl of Rice Krispies, and Jabba the Hutt.

Of course, if I hadn't spent the last few days in a drunken, pun-filled haze, I might have realized a penguin was supposed to be the next one in. Alas, I was asleep at my post and allowed a disease to slip in first.

Today's suggestion comes courtesy of Joelle:
Tuberculosis walks into a bar... somehow.1 The bartender, who'd watched it drive up, stops it in the doorway.
"That's one sick ride you flew in on, but you're not welcome here. Leave."
"Chill, man. Such virulence. Is it the fatigues?"
"No. And as much as it pains me to turn away a customer..."
"I have an infectious personality if you get to know me. Give me a shot."
"No. Now go."
"You can't treat me like this."
"It's my bar, I can do what I want."
"Look, all I want is a drink. I'm on my way to see D.C."
"Not who. The city. Quit being so resistant."
"C'mon, you're killing me. Cough it up. What's the real reason you're so sore?"
"Get out."
"Bloody hell, I've had it with your bellyaching. A pox on thee!"
"Whatever." The bartender points to the door.
"Oh yeah, don't strain yourself or nothing." It looks back before leaving. "Sir, this decision shall plague you the rest of your days. I'll make sure of it."

Okay, now that I've gotten tuberculosis out of my system, I'll be able to tackle the penguin next. (And Shakespeare, thanks to my wife's meddling. It's a two-fer.)

1 I'm assuming prosthetics.

Monday, June 18, 2012

In a Galaxy Bar, Far Away

The bar was closed Saturday for renovations (hallway and dining room floors) and Sunday for private functions (my first Father's Day and first improv performance). But we've opened the doors once again to new customers.

It all began with a needle pulling thread. Then a sea-monkey entered the conversation, followed by a priest, a rabbi, and a hooker and a bowl of Rice Krispies.

Today's suggestion comes courtesy of Alex J. Cavanaugh:
Jabba the Hutt walks into a bar.1 The place is a pit, and the girls slaving over the tables would rather work elsewhere, perhaps in chains. But it's got cheap drinks and is the only spot from which he can see three P.O. boxes he needs to watch.2

Three of the girls are commiserating by the bar. "And Miss Fancy-Pants there in the corner booth? Says her food was chewy. You believe that princess lay a dime down right in front of me, as my tip?"

"She can't treat you that way just because her husband is a count, duke, or whatever. You need to maul her. Go all qui-gon jinn on her ass."

"It's called taekwondo, Tina. But no, I don't have the energy. I think it's this Atkins diet. After work today I'm gonna do, just in case, a carbo-night."

"Well, then do your psycho routine. Scare her into giving a larger tip."

"Yeah, Mary, you should be a psycho. Oh, be one, 'kay?"

"No, be one yourself."

The bartender tapped Mary on the shoulder. "Waiting to order Jabba is."

"Can Tina do it?"

"Too many tables already she has. For you this is."

"Fine." Mary walks over to Jabba's table. "What'll you have?"

"Bonobo hobo moba cheeso."

"Sorry, what was that?"

The Russian from the next table leans over. "He say he feel sluggish, vant pick-me-up. Like Skyy Wodka in one Solo® cup."

She returns to the bar and gives the bartender the order.

"Okay, I'll get that for him. Don't get too close when you give it to him, though; use the forceps. Oh, and before you head back over there..." He hands her a small glass. "...serve Greedo's shot first."

And if you thought today's was bad, watch out! Tomorrow's special is tuberculosis.

1 You might think he would slither, but no... ewok.
2 Technically, he could also watch from the Admiral Ack Bar next door, but he won't set foot in there again (figuratively speaking) because, as he says, "Itsa crap!"

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Rice Krispie Bar

It started with a needle pulling thread. Then a sea-monkey entered the conversation, followed by a priest, a rabbi, and a hooker.

Today's suggestion comes courtesy of Laura Hughes:

A bowl of Rice Krispies walks into a bar. She says to the bartender, "Cheerio!"

"Oh, Honey, not 'Cheerio.' You're toasted. Whenever you hit the white stuff, your bran turns to mush."

"I wish I were so lucky, Sam. Everyone knows I'm branless."

"I'm just saying you should be careful. It might feel good at first, but snap! Crack'll pop you in the head every time."

"Please, I'd never do crack."


"Now that'd be a treat. Anyway, I'll take two cans, Sam."

"Nope, no more. You have a problem."

"I'm fine, you silly rabbit. I'm only back so soon because I accidentally dropped the top to my last can. I stepped on the cap, 'n crunch!"

"No more. Here's what you should do, Honey: Comb your hair and get yourself a job."

Honey smacks the bar. "Quit toying with me. I said I'm fine. Now gimme some sugar. I can't bear to go on like this."

The bartender sighs. "Look, how long are we going to milk this joke? These puns are poor."

"Nonsense. They're gr-r-reat!"

Since this exercise has become a serial, more things will be slithering their way up to the bar. Next up: Jabba the Hutt. (And if you haven't done so yet, you can still make your own suggestion here.)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

At the Bar Mitzvah

It began with a needle pulling thread. Yesterday, a sea-monkey entered the conversation. And if you thought those were bad, you ain't read nothing yet.

Today's suggestion comes from my friend Brian, via Facebook:

A priest, a rabbi, and a hooker walk into a bar. The priest orders a virgin Bloody Mary, then joins the others at a booth. He finds the rabbi with a Hooker to his lips; the hooker is enjoying her first He'Brew.

"I must confess," he says, "This is highly unorthodox."

"You see, Jason," says the hooker, "I have this spiritual hole I need to fill. I figured you two could guide me, you know, biblically speaking. And rather than screw around, I thought I'd have you both at once."

The priest eyed his competition. "Well, Norah, if you come with me you might end up in a missionary position."

"Jesus Christ!" says the rabbi. "Quit pimping your religion. She's just looking for spiritual guidance."

"No need to be cross. It was just a proposition."

"Don't crucify me, I'm trying to help. Now, the Torah is kept in this thing called—"

"Hell no, not another one of your ark tangents. Like you said, David, she wants spiritual guidance."

The hooker bangs on the table. "Look," she says. "Stop whining about spirits. And remember, I'm a lay person. So drop the religious jargon, Jason. Quit being so priestly."

"For the love of God!"

"Oh, calm down. I was just trying to get a rise out of you." She takes one last swallow of He'Brew. "Ugh, I feel sick. I'm gonna find a john and pray to the porcelain god."

She heads for the exit instead. The rabbi goes to her and says, "We're just men, Norah. But hey, if you want to talk later, give me a call, girl." She brushes him off and leaves to walk the streets home.

He returns to the table. The priest shakes his head and says, "You're a star, David."

Not that it matters, but every single time I tried to type rabbi it initially came out as rabbit. If I'd kept it that way, it would've been cuter, but with lots more screwing.

Anyway, our next visitor to the bar will be a bowl of Rice Krispies. (And if you haven't yet made a suggestion, I'll leave the request lines open just a little while longer...)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Now Entering Bar Harbor

When I asked for suggestions on what to bring to the bar scene, I thought you'd lob some softballs my way, items with plenty of potential for puns. Instead, you hit me with things like sea-monkeys and tuberculosis. Oh sure, I've got tons of material for those. And hey, Joelle? Tuberculosis has no physicality. How can it walk into a bar? (Eh, I'll make it work.)1

Anyway, because I'm lazy everything wouldn't enter the bar at once, I'm going to tackle these one at a time. First up: a sea-monkey, courtesy of Kellie @ Delightfully Ludicrous. Let us begin.
A sea-monkey walks into a bar...on its sea-legs, I suppose. He sits next to a capuchin, pats his stomach, and says to the bartender, "My tank's empty. Get me a water, on tap."

"Hold on, I'll be with you in an instant."

A can of Mountain Dew sits down on the other side of the sea-monkey and says, "Don't order water in a bar. It tastes like piss." It then tries to grab some pickled eggs off the bar, but they all tumble to the floor.

"Who are you to tell me what to do?" says the sea-monkey.

"My name's Brian, shrimp."

"Well, Brian, I don't like how you drop eggs, insult water."

The bartender comes back over. "Okay, what can I get ya?"

"I'll have—"

"Not you. I'll take your orders in the order you sat down: monkey, sea-monkey, Dew.

Well, that's it for day one. Next time you get a priest, a rabbi, and a hooker. (Oh, and by the way, if you haven't made a suggestion yet, the request lines are still open...)

1 For the purposes of this series, the character of Tuberculosis will be played by Tommy "Two-Toed" Tuberculosis.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Raising the Bar

In my last post, my second footnote had a needle pulling thread walk into a bar. I then proceeded to riff on needles and sewing, churning out pun after glorious pun. It may well be my best footnote to date.1

The love I got for that bit made me want to challenge myself further. And that's where you come in. What I need from each of you is something that might "walk" into a bar.

It could be another inanimate object, like the needle. Perhaps a profession or celebrity or fictional character. Maybe an animal, vegetable, or mineral. But whatever you give me, they'll soon be entering a bar. And hilarity (or at least vast amounts of punnery) will ensue.

So, what've you got for me?

1 Mostly because it knows how to sew and can mix a stellar martini. But really, I wouldn't suggest dating any of my footnotes. They don't take anything seriously, and well, I know they say size doesn't matter, but...

Monday, June 4, 2012

And Then I Made a 10-Footer

I haven't blogged much lately.1 So2 I thought,3 to4 make it up5 to you6 (or at least those of you with a footnote fetish),7 I would put together an epic post.8 Instead, I wrote this. Sorry!9 That's Life.10

1 Sure, I'm focusing more on my novel (progress is slow but steady), but I also have a nearly 11-month -old (assisted walking is fast but steady), and beneath the carpet in our dining room we discovered linoleum (removal is very slow but for the love of all that is holy, who puts linoleum on top of hardwood?!).

2 A needle pulling thread... walks into a bar. The bartender says, "You can't drag all that in here. I'm gonna have to cut you off."
"Darn it!" says the needle. "Quit hemming and hawing. Just give me a beer."
"Oh, you come bobbin in here and want me to tailor my business to your needs? Go lose yourself in a haystack."
"Mother of Pearl! Did you just...? Look me in the eye and say that again."
The bartender smiled pointedly. "Hey, no need to come unraveled."
"You think this is funny?"
"Well, you've got me in stitches."
The needle stalked out. "Cross my heart, I hope you die."

3 A dangerous proposition. The more I think, the more confused everyone else gets.

4 A dangerous preposition. I mean, it's involved in all sorts of horrifying things (e.g. death to infidels, a license to kill, From Justin to Kelly).

5 I like making things up. Stories, characters, excuses, lists of demands, tests, counters, you name it. Pretty much everything except my mind. Oh, and the bed. I don't see the point.

6 And when I say "make it up to you," of course I mean "make me feel less guilty about blogging less. What, you thought this was about you? Get over yourself. It's about me.

7 For they are the most susceptible to the advanced stages of blogoscopic footnotosis (formerly acute footnote withdrawal and wheelfiritis). Additional symptoms include stink eye, needle nose, pencil neck, cold shoulder, stiff arm, dead man's hand, wooden chest, flash back, bottom line, peg leg, and chicken foot.

8 You know, an exceptionally grandiose blog entry that will change the world. Or a 20-foot-high fence stake intricately carved to tell the entire story of the Iliad. Or an appointment as Über-Delegate to the Grand Poobah of Everything. One of those.

9 A game for 2-4 players.

10 A game for 2-6 players. In which, just like real life, you get a free car before your first job and get to drive it without a license. Of course, if you combine the game with Sorry!, you could end up back at the start, and become a polygamist working multiple jobs to make ends meet. (You might think this is a lame end to the post, but again, it's not all about you. It's about me. As long as I entertain one person, I'm happy. And Mikey, he likes it.)