I've been reading Les Miserables. The unabridged version. I've read over 400 pages, but still have 1,000 left. When I finish, it will rank between the Bible and Stephen King's The Stand on my list of longest books read (strictly in terms of page numbers; I'm not sure which book is actually the longest).
There's a monologue near the beginning of the novel, made by Tholomyes, the man who would soon abandon Fantine, that stood out to me. Here's part of it (there are probably formatting rules for running an excerpt this long, but I'm not too bothered to find them out. I ain't the AP):
"[The] pun, though it falls from heaven, should not be welcomed with too much wonder. Everything that falls this way is not necessarily worthy of enthusiasm and respect. The pun is the droppings of the soaring spirit. The jest falls where it will. And the spirit, after freeing itself from stupidity, seeks the skies. A white spot on a flat rock does not prevent the condor from soaring above. Far be it from me to insult the pun! I honor it in proportion to its merits--not beyond."
I love puns, as most reading this are already aware. I make them wherever I can. I don't agree with Tholomyes that puns are no more than the excrement of the soul (which seems rather insulting to puns, to me, despite what he said), but I do recognize that not all puns are created equal. Some deserve laughs, some deserve groans, and some deserve to simply be ignored. (I will admit that I often take as much satisfaction in making a groan-inducing pun as a good one.) I don't expect people to laugh at all of my puns, just because some of them happen to be really, really funny.
For example...tonight I will be going to a Tom Cruise-themed party. Guests are expected to come dressed as Tom, a member of his family, or a character from one of his movies. Within a few minutes of receiving the invitation, the following puns came to mind. React to them how you will; I won't mind.
The easiest costume choice would be to carry around trays of ice cubes, and be "Iceman." But the trays would have to be empty, because you don't want anyone to slip on ice cubes--only Maverick would do something that dangerous.
Or, I could carry a can of Pledge and a rag and be the Rain Man, aka "Dustin' Hofmann." Definitely, definitely a good pun.
If I had a humidifier, I could turn it into a costume somehow, as the logical progression of Cruise character nemeses: Iceman, Rain Man, Mist Man! Right?
I plan to have a small bottle of the Mountain Dew spinoff with me, so I can pull it out from time to time and ask people, "Did you order the Code Red?"
I saw on the eVite guest list that Mindy Booth, a woman who is very nice and very nice-looking but who I don't really know, will be there. Upon seeing her at the party, I plan on yelling "I want the Booth!" If she responds "You can't handle the Booth!" I'll be very pleased, and she'll probably be right.
Never shy about recycling puns, I could approach the drink table at this Mormon party and say "I want vermouth!" And, after realizing I can't handle vermouth, I could settle for a Sodapop Curtis.
This is fun, isn't it? Got any of your own to add? Oh, puns...