• World Pun Off

    From Daryl Stout@316:36/20 to All on Sat Nov 18 00:04:31 2017
    The World Championship Pun-Off, now over 30 years running, is
    held each year in Austin, Texas...at the O. Henry Museum, in the
    downtown area. In recent years, it was temporarily moved to Woolridge
    Park, due to construction a new Hilton Hotel adjacent to the
    museum...and the roads were blocked off.

    Depending on scheduling, the competition is held either the first or
    the third weekend of May (usually on Saturday) of each year...and it
    runs from 12 Noon to approximately 5pm, Central Time. Some years, it
    can last longer...as "the beauty of the pun is in the aargh of the
    receiver".

    There are 2 competitions...Punniest Of Show...plus High Lies And Low
    Puns. There is no entry fee for either one, and contestants may enter
    either one, or both, of the competitions. Prospective contestants (and
    the audience) begin gathering around 11am or so, with the entertainment
    and sign up starting at 12 Noon, and lasting until 1pm. There is usually
    a band providing music...plus a few vendors; some selling food and drink,
    while others sell books and items to benefit the O. Henry Museum. They
    do take up voluntary collections during the event to help with expenses
    with the museum.

    Punniest Of Show, starting at 1pm, has each contestant delivering a
    prepared skit, with puns interversed throughout, or one big one at the
    end (a bit of both is ideal). They can read it from their script, or do
    it from memory. However, they must finish it in 90 seconds or less
    (60-75 seconds is ideal). At 90 seconds, a bell is rung...and points
    begin to be deducted. At 2 minutes, a second bell is rung, and the
    contestant is disqualified. Extra time can be allotted if there are a
    lot of groans or laughter. A panel of 4 judges, allotting 10 points
    each, tallies the vote, and the winner is the one with the most points.
    In case of a tie, a "pun-off" is held, with the finalists reading the
    last part of their skits. The winner is the one who gets the most
    applause.

    High Lies And Low Puns, usually starting at 3pm, pits 2 contestants,
    head to head, in a selected category. While the contestants know of the categories that will be used, they don't know of which one is theirs
    until they are to start. Each contestant has 5 seconds to come up with a
    pun related to that category, and the round continues until one fails to
    do so. This continues until only one winning punster remains.

    Contestants come from all over to attend the yearly event. Some will
    gather on the Friday evening before, or sometime on Sunday after the competition, at an area restaurant to social-eyes. Folks who'd be
    interested in this can go to punpunpun.com on the Internet, and click
    on the link for the O. Henry Pun-Off.

    One of the judges, Richard Lederer, author of "Anguished English", a collection of actual written and spoken goofs, has a neat website...www.verbivore.com -- for those interested in this humor...
    and you can order his stuff from there.

    You can get to and from Austin via:

    1) Driving -- Austin is north of San Antonio on Interstate 35...I think
    the total length of it is from Minneapolis, MN to Laredo, TX. I'm not
    sure what exit to take off of the freeway in the Austin area, though.

    2) Flying -- Southwest Airlines, among other carriers, serve the Austin
    Area. Southwest is at www.southwest.com and at (800) 435-9792
    (I-FLY-SWA). However, the airport is a good ways out of town, and cab
    fare is not cheap. One may want to strongly consider renting a car.

    3) Train -- Amtrak's station is near the downtown area, but the one
    train that serves Austin...The Texas Eagle...arrives early to mid-evening southbound from Chicago...and mid to late morning northbound from San
    Antonio. The Texas Eagle runs daily between Chicago and San Antonio,
    also going through St. Louis, Little Rock, Dallas, and Fort Worth, then
    through Austin to San Antonio. Three days a week at San Antonio, one of
    the Sleeping Cars and two of the coaches connect with The Sunset
    Limited, which runs 3 days a week between Orlando and Los Angeles. More information is available at The Texas Eagle website
    (www.texaseagle.com), the Amtrak website (www.amtrak.com), or by calling
    Amtrak at (800) USA-RAIL (872-7245). The Austin station is does not have ticketing or baggage service.

    Concerning inclement weather, no real contingency plan, per se, is in place...but I'm sure that folks would have a "safety option" if there
    was a risk of thunderstorms/lightning.

    Full details are available at www.punoff.com

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