Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Wordplay is good for the soul

I have enjoyed playing with words since I was a child. It probably began when I saw the following riddle on the last page of Boys' Life magazine:

Q. When is a door not a door?
A. When it is ajar.

A real knee-slapper when you're 11 years old!

A few years later I heard a stand-up comic on television say, "If your nose runs and your feet smell, you're built upside down!" and I was hooked.

Someone else on late-night television quipped, "Did you hear about the guy who was half Black and half Japanese? Every December 7th he arracked Pearl Bailey."

Or how about the Jewish lawyer who moved to Japan and opened an office in Tokyo. The sign on his front door read "Sosumi." (translation for those who don't get it: "So sue me").

Those were all thought up by other people. I have finally reached the stage in life where I can create them on my own. For example, did you hear about the acupuncturist who decided to turn his waiting room into an Italian restaurant? His place is called Pins & Noodles.

I have to set this one up. In French, lunch is déjeuner and breakfast is petit déjeuner. The word petit means little.

My daughter had a friend in college named Bill DeJournett whose surname is pronounced deh-zhur-nay. It occurred to me all of a sudden this morning that his children, if he has any, might be known as petit DeJournett.

I can die happy now. I can do wordplay in two languages, three if you count faux Japanese.

Since I don't want to die just yet, the only place left for me is probably the loony bin.

You don't have to agree so wholeheartedly.


  1. I saw that you read Boys Life. My eyes lit up. I realize I was a girl but I looked forward to the delivery of Boys Life. It had the best articles and provided me with many topics for essays in school.

  2. Thanks for commenting, Emma. I had no idea that girls also read Boys' Life. I also liked National Geographic. You?

    1. Not as much but there were some good articles there.

  3. You got a laugh-out-loud from me with the pins and noodles. There were children's comics that would have paid you for that one.

    1. Tasker, glad to be of service in the making-you-laugh-out-loud department!

  4. "When is a door not a door? When it's ajar" is also one of my all time favourites, never forgotten and I still say it silently in my head when the codeword answer comes up with great regularity in my codeword puzzles (the answers to choose from are afar and ajar). I first saw it in my comic, Jack and Jill, the first comic I had all to myself and not shared with my brothers.

    1. Rachel, I remember seeing Jack and Jill at other people's houses but it wasn't one we received at our house. I find it interesting that certain very early memories stay with us for our enttre lives.


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