No doubt this will come as a surprise to many, but there was a time when even my own family felt obliged to put a limit on the number of puns (I call them lateral thinking, by the way) I was allowed to make in a single day.
Although the compulsion probably started during my schooldays, I suspect it may have developed into something more significant during the year I spent marooned on a south Pacific desert island during the nineteen-fifties.
In the meantime, although there were times when I recognised the wisdom of containing the urge to pun, I can't deny that the pleasure I derived from seeing people cringe after I had 'made' one is quite intoxicating. There may, however, have been times when I could be accused of being a bit too 'lateral' - and yesterday might have been one of those days.
It all happened on Twitter (the social-networking web-site for the slightly more intellectual 'blogger') - where I caused some confusion for a young lady who didn't catch the connection I was trying to make between a well-known American businessman and a northern term for a quite natural - but sometimes unfortunate - bodily function. Fortunately, a little later, she made the connection without too much embarrassment for either party.
Last night, however, I seemed to be having even less success.
For example, my remark, "breaking a spectacle of himself" (about someone who had broken their glasses) seemed to fall on stony ground (maybe that's how the specs were broken) and a further response to someone saying, "just saw a nipple in an advert for The Daily Mail" seemed equally uninspiring.
My response, by the way, had been, "Was it in the title?" - and accepting that having to explain a 'joke' is a recognition of failure, I should point out that the pun lies in the first three letters of the last word of my reply.
Ah well. Perhaps I should stick to writing blogs - for which I don't hold any great expectations that anyone will read. The pleasure, of course, lies in the writing.