News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 22, 2013

LIZ CIANCONE: The low humor of Mickey Mantis

Liz Ciancone
Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — I’m told that a pun is the lowest form of humor. I guess that typecasts me! I love them, but then, I like any type of word play.

Years ago I was amused by a sign in front of an auto repair shop Dad drove past whenever we went to Chicago. The sign pleaded, “May we have the next dents?” I was hooked. I became a collector.

Pensacola, Fla., became a vacation spot for us when the boys were young, and the city is also a gold mine for a pun collector. Two competing port-a-potty companies gave the public a choice between “Johnny on the Spot” or “Pot-o-Gold.” Since we rented a place with indoor plumbing, we didn’t have to make a choice.

A few years later, a boarding facility for pets advertised itself as “The Howl-a-Day Inn” and promised your pet “bed and biscuit.” Dogs were not allowed on the beach, so Huckleberry was boarded locally before we left.

I’m not an adventurous eater, but was tempted by a Korean restaurant in Pensacola which offered “Seoul Food” to eager eaters.

Then the family got into the act. Number One son rescued a baby robin and christened it “Mr. Peepers.” He kept the bird all summer and helped it strengthen its wings. When it took off on its own, we could always identify Mr. Peepers because he would fly onto Number One’s shoulder while the wilder birds split the minute the door opened. Still, eventually, Mr. Peepers sought his own kind.

It was also Number One who was fascinated by the praying mantis. He finally captured a magnificent specimen about six inches long and fed it live crickets which it crunched audibly! Naturally he named it “Mickey Mantis” which served until Mickey laid eggs behind the dining room drapery and left a stain which never did come out.

Keeping to the baseball theme, my brother named a blue heron which frequented their dock “Henry Heron.” I don’t know about hitting, but Henry could certainly field those small fish!

I’m always on the lookout for other goodies. Keep your eyes open for me!