Tag Archives: puns

Ghosts lets skeletons out of closet

Tonight, on a brand new episode of “Apparition Pursuers”…
Ghost hunters tackle some of the world’s most compelling and age-old questions about ghosts – from the apparitions, themselves! For the first time in history, we’ve documented live accounts of real ghosts baring their souls, able to tell their side of the story at long last. During this episode:

  1. Unlock secrets from ancient spirits full of Christmas spirit during an exclusive interview with the infamous Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future
  2. Gain insight on what really occurs during a haunting (Hint: They’re not craving your fear)
  3. Uncover the real story behind a ghastly encounter one ghost calls “eerie, haunting and…kinda phoned in.”

Key: Interviewer – I; Past –Pa; Present –Pr; Future –F; Little Girl –LG; Ghost 1 –G1; Ghost 2 –G2; Ghost 3 –G3

Note: All questions asked by interviewer in low, menacing tones. All camera shots of interviewees (ghosts) cast at creepy angle, ¾ in shadow to respect each individual’s privacy.

I: “Let’s start off easy. What are the tricks of the trade during a typical haunting?”

G1: “First off, Tom – may I call you Tom?”

I: “My name’s Hank.”

G1: “Well, Tom, first of all, people who presume they’re being haunted need to get off their high horse. We’re just normal people who, you know, can be walked through and who may or may not have been dead for hundreds of years and perhaps don’t realize it. Nudges Ghost 3, who looks up bewilderedly from unsuccessfully trying to snag a chicken sandwich from the buffet table. Some of us aren’t the brightest visions in the netherworld, if you get my drift.

Truth is, more often than not, we’re up at night with a case of the midnight munchies. It’s not always all about you, ok? Take this recent show about hauntings on the Discovery channel, for instance.” Whips out footage of woman being interviewed about a personal haunting. Fast forwards through first five minutes, then presses play. “OK, see there? Right there? When she says that I was approaching her slowly with an ominous, grave look?”

G1: “Totally constipated that day.”

I: “Right. Moving on. What can we learn from ghosts in a concerted effort to live harmoniously among each other?”

"YOU try looking attractive underneath a frumpy white sheet." - every ghost ever

G2: “Maybe, uh….maybe stop with all the screaming, ya know? It’s loud, unnecessary and quite honestly, kind of degrading. I mean, I had girls run off screaming when I asked them on dates way back in the ‘20s, but now? Don’t be mean; it’s rude. We’re all grown-ups here. Well, except for the ghost of that little girl lingering over there.”

Camera pans over to purely evil little girl who died tragically upon falling in a well.

LG: Casts a stilted smile in camera man’s direction and with one look, throws him into a mirror, which shatters and leaves him lying stunned on the ground. Slowly proceeds to vanish into thin air, all the while staring threateningly at camera crew.

Ghost 1 shrugs, blushing embarrassedly.

G3: “Yikes.”

I: “What are some common misconceptions about ghosts you’d like to clear up? Stun us.”

G1: “We actually hate graveyards; they’re uber spooky! Now that’s where shit gets real.” Looks nervously at little girl, who motions to zip lips sinisterly. Shudders. “And, the movie, Ghost, with Patrick Swayze? Blatant commercial appeal only. Not even remotely accurate.”

G3: “I hate the Swayze.”

G2: “I’d just like to say that I’d totally leave if they’d stop bringing home Bath and Body works lotion. You know the stuff – Midnight Pomegranate? It’s just delightful. Face it – I’ve grown accustomed to certain standards and am fully prepared to live between worlds forever.”

LG (squealing, still in low, dark tones):  “OMG, OMG!!! I totes love that stuff!!!!”

G2: “Also, we don’t move your stuff around, ok? You misplace things because you’re forgetful.”

G1: “Ultimately, of course, is that you humans have us pegged all wrong. Deep down, we’re good people! We throw your keys at you when you’re running late for work. We turn on the water facet because we know your cat is thirsty. Etc., etc.”

I: “And what about all those documented cases about ghosts killing innocent humans by pushing them down stairs or driving them mad?

G2: “Well, sure, one tiny little death or two.”

G3: “Whoops.”

G1 (puffing out chest proudly): “We get our haunt on, yo!”

Ghost 1 nudged sharply by Ghost 2.

I: “I’m choosing to ignore that. Ok, guys –let’s get a little silly. Ghosts of Past, Present and Future – this one’s for you. What’s your favorite meal?”

Fact: the only scary thing about goulash is how scary good it tastes.

Pa: “Easy. Ghoulash.” (Lets out robust laugh) “Ahahahaha! Just messin with ya!”

Past, Present and Future look at each other, then back at Tom. Errr. Hank.

Pa, Pr and F (in unison): “Tombstone Pizza! We goblin it right up!”

Snickers abound.

Pr (wiping tear from eye with hearty chuckle): “Ok, but seriously, it’s tacos. Soft shell tacos.”

I (sarcastically): “Great. Fantastic. Finally, when you’re not haunting selfish people, what do you like to do in your spare time? Any favorite activities?”

F: “I got this one. Wait for it. Waaaait for it…..Paranormal ones!”

Tom – no, Hank – Tom Hanks? – sighs heavily.

"Here lies Joe. He loved his creatine until he got the guillotine."

F: “Fine. I like to go to the gym and get RIPed, man.”

Pr (faking thoughtfulness): “Take relaxing bloodbaths?”

I: “I’m out of here.”

Pa: “Wait, stay. We’ll be good, promise. Throw us another question straight outta that noodle of yours. Better yet, we’ll ask you a question. Do you ever have premonitions?”

I: “I’ve been regretting doing this interview for numerous reasons for hours, so yes. Sure. Why not. It’s been a nightmare. Why do you ask?”

Ghosts look at one another deviously, then focus attention intently on Hank.

I: “Aw, seriously?!” Jaw drops in shock, microphone clatters to floor. Proceeds to fall in agony before breathing halts. Utters one last, gasping breath.

F: “Wow, he didn’t even see that coming, did he?”

G1: “Eh, that guy was a jerk! Didn’t even giggle once at our puns. Ghoulash! Ghoulash for Pete’s sake! Well, let’s do this then.”

Loud screams and chaos heard as lights flash wildly. Cameras pan out slowly to reveal dead camera crew before all videos turn to static. Audio still records.


More silence.

G3: “That Demi Moore in Ghost was a hottie.”

G1: “Welcome to the conversation.”

I’m kinda hyphen a bad day. Having. I meant HAVING a bad day.

We all have vices – they’re what make us human, right? The thought resonated through my head as I walked briskly to meet my friends at the Avenue, a popular weekend hotspot for us. I was late – AGAIN – but figured on a Friday night no one would notice my absence in the midst of winding down from a long workweek with a few drinks.

With a flourish, I pushed open the heavy wooden door and walked in to  be greeted with familiar faces – yes – but not the ones I had expected to see at the bar tonight.

The whole gang's here! Someone grab Question Mark a beer - it looks confused.

My whole team of coworkers was there, down to the very last Period. Comma, Semi-Colon (whom, upon just getting married, was quite the feminist and still refused to fully take Colon’s last name, all in the spirit of individuality), Dash, even Caret –that weird character that everyone thought was the Tom Cruise of punctuation because it was so self-absorbed with gaining higher powers* – was there.

(Oh, hold on, Asterisk has something to say, and if it doesn’t speak now and instead waits until the end of this story, we’ll forget why it even attempted to interject in the first place.)

 On cue, but slightly off topic, Asterisk shouted, “Math is dumb! Down with numbers!”

Well, no disagreement there. Everyone in the room nodded in approval.

Anyway – as I was saying – I stopped dead in my tracks, looking bewilderedly at the caring faces surrounding me, those who had been with me throughout my lifelong passion for reading and writing. And there –drooping slightly sideways from the rafters – a hastily-written, sharpie-riddled sign:


Oh, what the eeeeeeeffff…

“Guys, let me explain. I know my drinking has been frequent, but if it’s not slow-pitch softball, it’s karaoke night, or Ribfest, or Tuesday…” I started to explain feebly.

“Its not that, sweetie,” said Comma, putting a gentle hand atop mine.

“Well, I mean, maybe I HAVE been late a lot, but have you seen THIS?!” I asked, pointing in the direction of my derriere. “I have to MacGyver the shit out of these jeans just to get them on! And you guys know how hard it is to be punctual…”


Nine out of ten crickets would agree - this just got awkward fast.

Silence hung awkwardly and abruptly in the room like a hyphen mid-sentence.

“Um, still no,” said Parentheses with a deep sigh.

“Look, I know maybe it’s not for everyone, but I really feel like my use of the word “rage” isn’t out of control, because we’re like, constantly raging, you know?” I said, sure I had nailed it. Which, conversely – as far as interventions go – this was anything but raging. I mean, I hadn’t even been served a drink yet. Seriously – were these jeans even doing their job?

Instead, Exclamation Point served me the biggest, unsettling thought of all.

“Your use of the hyphen has been…to say the least, a little out of control recently!” it pointed out – quite energetically, I thought, given the seemingly dire mood of the crowd.  

“How about we go around the room and read our pre-written letters to Cassie?” interrupted the intervention leader, which fittingly was Long Dash. “Ellipses, how about you start?”

“Cassie, I miss us,” Ellipses began. “What happened to US?! You used to be so indecisive…” it trailed off mumbling incoherent words.

“Guys, I could stop anytime,” I said carelessly, waving a hand casually – just to get them off my back.

Whoops. Ok – so maybe Exclamation had a point. I didn’t want to hear any more. It’s one thing to diss one’s creative writing style or their overly excessive use of certain words, but was I really doing anything wrong? The hyphen got me from A to B faster.

Algebra: Pick a side before you get picked off.

“A to B faster, like if a train was traveling at 60 mph in one direction from Point A and you could take a shortcut to cut off five minutes of travel time, you would,” interjected Caret unhelpfully. “If so, at what time would you reach your final destination, or Point B?”

A beer bottle thrown at Caret’s head from the back of the room solved that problem quickly.

Then, from the back of the room, a voice.

“I have been feeling a little abused lately,” said Hyphen quietly.

“Hey, thanks for the shout-out man!,” yelled Italics, fist-pumping Hyphen for added emphasis.

OMG, Hyphen’s actually here?!?! Hyphen’s here!!!! The voice in my head screamed with the exuberance of a 12-year-old Justin Bieber fan. Or, for that matter, a 40-year-old Justin Bieber fan. Or, really just any Justin Bieber fan.

I looked down at my outfit, feeling suddenly frumpy. Man, if I had known Hyphen was going to be there, I would have put on a cute dress, I thought nervously, smoothing back my bangs. “God, it looks cute tonight.”

Hey, I see what you did there!

Wait, did I just say that out loud? Maybe I did have a problem.

The room went fuzzy as I broke out in a cold sweat, unable to think about anything but my desperate need to use Hyphen in a sentence – as soon as possible. God, that felt good. If this was addiction, I didn’t care. It was also love.


Friends say I blacked out after that. When I woke, I was in bed, shivering from my lack of using the hyphen for two days. After that, I quit cold turkey. I knew that if I were ever to use the hyphen again, my coworkers would leave me to fend for myself, casting me into a dark, unpunctuated place full of rambling sentences. (Read: Hell) Oh, and the other forms of punctuation? Well, once formal figureheads in my life, they once again became simple place settings within my stories.

However, those who know addiction know it is a never-ending, uphill battle. I still get the itch every now and again to use the hyphen recklessly. When I do, I take a deep breath, look down at my keyboard, choose another character and remember that I own my punctuation use – it doesn’t own me.