I wrote my college application essay on how I negotiated social situations by storing up an array of dumb puns on a random general topic. At a social gathering, I would sit around awkwardly until a certain topic came up — shoes (“lace be serious”), or cameras (“lens be serious”) or astronomy (“let’s be Sirius) or entomology (“let’s bee serious”), and I would try to give the impression I was coming up with all these jokes on the spot. In retrospect, I can see I had come up with my own way to manage my social anxiety, but as a 17yo I didn’t have that self-awareness. At any rate, by now my 16yo is better at this than I am.
Your friend mentions not being a fan of cats, and a connection forms in your brain. Before you can stop yourself, the words have left your lips: You must be kitten. Now you’ve earned a spot on your friend’s shit list, right next to felines, and frankly you deserve it. | Puns are more like eggplant than low-hanging fruit, though. The prospect of eating eggplant in its natural state—shiny, dimpled skin and the spongy seedgarden underneath—is extremely barfy. But there are so many ways to prepare those purple euphemisms, and the distance between undercooked eggplant parmigiana and Michelin star baingan bharta is astronomical. The same goes for puns. —Esquire