Puns have been a part of my life forever. There is a peculiar twist to my relationship with puns, however. I don’t like to tell puns that others have invented. I feel there is no pleasure in this. I’ll only tell puns I’ve created.
This is not to say that I don’t enjoy the puns of others. I really do. I even envy the person who created some of them. Some puns invented by others are so outrageously funny, I smile whenever I think of them.
I can think of only a few puns, perhaps five or six of my own, among many hundreds that I feel are the equivalent of the funny ones of others.
My enjoyment of puns began as a child living at home with my parents. I was perhaps eight ears old when I told my first. It was in Italian. In the household we spoke only Italian.
My father was scolding me one day for something I had done wrong. I don’t remember what it was but I was protesting my innocence. My father put his fingers to his lips and shouted, “Mosca.” This word meant silence.
I was aware that this word, in Italian, also meant house fly. Something got into me and I couldn’t resist it. I looked around the room, left, right, up, down, then, with perfect timing, asked:
“Ado?” This word, in Italian, meant where?
My father was not into puns. I cannot tell you about his reaction. It is not a pleasant thing to recall.