Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

Posts Tagged ‘Shakespeare

You’re So Pun-chy

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Some folks may not think the T-shirt proclaiming “I Put The Fun In Funeral” is humorous, but I do.

I also think puns are punny – er, funny. Good punsters are given more respect in most nations – yes, folks there are puns in other languages – than the level of appreciation witnessed here.

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A reason cited for this anti-pun phenomenon in the Land of the Free is our high level of competitiveness. A pun isn’t funny if you didn’t think of it first.

I mean, how funny do you think it is if I poke you in the ribs to get by and shout, “Make Hemmingway, the pun also rises.” It may not be too polite, but I think it’s hilarious.

They are among the tools that fashioned the Old Testament and much of Shakespeare’s works. So why should we snub them now? Perhaps it’s because punning requires an extensive knowledge of many topics and things. Whether you get it or not can be an indicator of how smart you are. In other words, a pun by someone else can make you look stupid.

While Shakespeare ranks at or very near the top of the list of all-time punsters, Mark Twain also was a practitioner. One of his that comes to mind readily is about some money being twice tainted: “T’aint yours and t’aint mine.”

Get it?

Vaudeville, radio and television comics, such as Groucho Marx, Henny Youngman and Fred Allen made a good living leaning on puns. It was one of them who said his wife went window shopping and came home with four windows.

Among Groucho’s renowned one-liners are “Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana,” “While in Africa, one morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas, I’ll never know,” “Why, I’d horse whip you if I had a horse,” “If you want to see a comic strip, you should see me in the shower” and “Women should be obscene and not heard.”

Puns and malaprops thrive in the same neighborhood, such as the comic pointing out that a colleague’s memory lapse was probably caused by too much Milk of Amnesia. And there’s the press agent who claimed all they had when they began making the epic Biblical movie, “Ben Hur” was “faith, hope and chariots.”

One easy one I remember from school days goes like this, “Can February March? No, but April May.” That hauled into mind the old schoolyard throwaway, “My picture wound up in jail, but it was framed.” And the laughs about the cross-eyed teacher who couldn’t control her pupils.

Included among the list of don’ts in my life is to never talk about infinity because the conversation could go on forever. I also got to thinking a few years ago that it must be confusing to be a young ant because even their uncles are ants.

As we were growing up, my sister applied for a job at the post office but they wouldn’t letter because they said only mails worked there. She got a job at a calendar factory but that didn’t last long because they fired her after she took a day off.

My brother wanted to buy a boat so I told him to look under the For Sail section in the classified ads.

There was the time I ran into my friend and when I visited him in the hospital he asked me why I didn’t miss him. He said he was sleeping like a log so I told him he’d have to start looking for a fireplace.

He also had a wife who had a photographic memory. The problem was, she never developed it.

It was after a trip to Australia (honest!) that I got some mileage out of telling people I had trouble remembering how to throw a boomerang but it usually came back to me.

I’ve always thought that becoming a vegetarian would be a big misteak. And there are health nuts trying to ground me because I drink coffee.

As I get older, I avoid funerals because they all start at or about 9 a.m. and I’m not a mourning person.

I was all set to take pictures of the fog bank the other day but I mist my chances.

And waking up this morning to write this opus was an eye-opening experience

Now you readers are going to leave but be like a good clock and come on back for seconds.

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Written by Cecil Scaglione

January 13, 2022 at 3:00 am

Loan to Family Member Is Money Down the Drain

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By Cecil Scaglione

Mature Life Features

Neither a family borrower nor a family lender be, to paraphrase Shakespeare.

The Bard also wrote that lending money to a friend is an excellent means of losing both your friend and your money.

With family, you lose your money but you’re still stuck with the relative.  It’s been estimated that as much as $65 billion is outstanding between family and friends.

Before you dig into your pockets to bail out a relative, ask yourself a few questions. First of all, do you need the money? If you do, how are you going to be able to go after it when your relative shows no sign of repaying you? If the borrower-to-be has a history of overextended credit cards, late rental payments, or job-hopping, what makes you think you’re going to get your money back?

What’s the money going to be used for? If the loan will enable a family member to complete a college education or help elderly parents keep their home,  you might give the matter serious thought.  But making a loan to a grandson and his wife so they can splurge on an anniversary cruise or to a daughter who collects race horses makes much less sense.

Parents have another concern. Lending to one child may spark jealousy in your other
children.

Family and financial experts agree on one major point: worse than the loss of money in any of
these person-to-person transactions is the rupture of the relationship. Putting things in writing can avoid some of the personal pitfalls.

Lender and borrower should agree upon and write down the amount of the loan, interest rate, and payment schedule. It’s a good idea to have the signing of the loan document witnessed or notarized. If you need to run it by an attorney, do so.

If a family member or friend who approaches you for a loan doesn’t want anything in writing, you can explain you need it for tax purposes in case you’re audited, that your accountant or tax preparer requires it.

When you do make a loan, charge some interest because the Internal Revenue Service will assume the loan earns interest and will expect you to declare that as income. And it’s up to you to record every payment made as well as giving the borrower a receipt each time.

It’s a financial transaction so treat it as such. If the person making the request for money doesn’t see it that way, you can suggest bluntly that if he or she wants charity, ask for it.

Incidentally, these suggestions also apply to coworkers, colleagues, neighbors, and anyone else who’s going to be around you for any length of time.

Mature Life Features, Copyright 2004

Written by Cecil Scaglione

October 12, 2014 at 8:08 am

Posted in Finance

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