The SPT (Shaggy Pun Test)

compiled by Dan Judd,
with editing and additions by
Mary W. Matthews

It happens to all of us. You're sitting with a group of friends, and all of a sudden you are overwhelmed by the urge to tell a long, somewhat improbable story that ends with a pun. Loud groans are made, and you are pelted with pillows, cushions, paper, garbage, and anything else that comes to hand. Why does this happen, and why do certain people seem to be more likely to be stricken with this dread disease? Dubbed SPS (Shaggy Pun Syndrome) by prominent psychologists, this illness has baffled scientists. What causes it — love of groaning sounds, subconscious desires to be hit with loose objects in the room, or some deeper cause, such as becoming fixated at the silly phase? Whatever the cause, SPS can become a serious mental illness, and if unchecked in its early phases, can result in minor injury (from beatings), major injury (from worse beatings), and even death (from still worse beatings).

Don't despair — treatment is becoming available, ranging from oral counseling to gags to tongue removal. As an early warning device, the SPT (Shaggy Pun Test) has been developed, based on the idea that retention of puns can lead to SPS. The SPT is a collection of "punch lines" from said stories. Recognition of more than a critical number of these punch lines can indicate serious potential for SPS. If caught early enough it is hoped that the puns maybe removed by surgical means.

To take the SPT, merely make an X beside each punch line that you either remember the story that goes with it, or that you can easily build a story to fit. Remember, a score of 100 percent is not necessarily desirable!

  1. One good tern deserves an udder.
  2. A fiery 'stead with the spite of Leed, A clout of dust, And a hearty "Buy old Silver"!
  3. A gritty pearl is Michael, LLD.
  4. A sink is as good as a tod to a blind Norse.
  5. A weigh a day keeps the doctor an Apple.
  6. Abscesses make the fart go "HONDA"!
  7. Ah, sweet Mr. Rhee of Life, at last I've found you!
  8. All of Hing's courses and all of Ming's ken couldn't get gum tea to feather a hen.
  9. Am I Mike Carruthers' beeper?
  10. And she thus became the first chicken to catch a Tory.
  11. Another case where the spirit was willing but the flush was weak.
  12. Artie chokes three for a dollar at local market.
  13. Bargain dogs don't bite.
  14. Because Herman the German was used to hard ships.
  15. Better Nate than lever.
  16. Booty is in the "Aye" of the bee holder.
  17. But actually mah hammered alley is really cashew's clay.
  18. But of course, the Czech is always in the male.
  19. Came the reply, "That was no laser ó that was my knife!"
  20. Carrying /young/ /gulls/ across a /staid lion/ /staked lines/ for immortal porpoises.]
  21. Contributing to the delinquency of a miner!
  22. Dee, who flaps last, flaps left.
  23. Doctor, the thong is ended, but the malady lingers on!
  24. Everyone knows . . . Tarzan Stripes Forever.
  25. The flight attendant looks at the vulture and says, "I'm sorry, only one carrion per passenger."
  26. For making an obscene clone fall.
  27. Follow the yellow prick toad.
  28. General Minh prefer bronze.
  29. Give my big hearts to Maude, Duane. / Dismember me for Harold's choir. / Tell all the Foys on Sortibackenstrete / That I will soon be there. (Hint: think of Isaac Asimov's "Death of a Foy.")
  30. He who has a Tate's is lost.
  31. He's a typical gnu, and tiler, too.
  32. He's not the rigger Mort is.
  33. Hugh, and only Hugh, can prevent florist friars!
  34. I can't stand chess nuts boasting in an open foyer.
  35. I don't know, but he's a dead ringer for his brother.
  36. I don't know, but his face sure rings a bell.
  37. I don't know. Am I my blubber's kipper?
  38. I left my harp in Sam Clam's Disco. (Variant: I left my harp in Sam Frank's Disco.)
  39. I wouldn't send a knight out on a dog like this.
  40. If there's one thing I can't stand, it's chess nuts boasting in an open foyer.
  41. Ike's aunt gets nose hat is fact, son.
  42. I'm a prawn again, Tristan! I saw Cod!
  43. I'm booking over that four-clove leaver, though I've overcooked before!
  44. It was the beast of Thames, it was the wurst of Thames.
  45. It was the bottom of the ninth, the basses were loaded, and the score was tied.
  46. It was the first known instance of using core storage to save registers.
  47. It's a feat to keep your seat on the vicious hippy mutt.
  48. It's a knick-knack, Patty Wack. Give the frog a loan.
  49. It's a long way to tip a Raree.
  50. It's a rambling rack from George the Turk with an elephant engineer!
  51. It's the Moron Tab or an Apple Choir.
  52. Lou Slips, Sinks Ships.
  53. Lucy in the dye with Simons.
  54. Making him the first to wire a head for a reservation.
  55. Moral: A niche in time saves Stein.
  56. MORAL: A stolen roan gathers no moose.
  57. Moral: A washed pot never oils.
  58. Moral: Don't hatchet your counts before they chicken.
  59. Moral: If the foo shits, wear it.
  60. MORAL: Let a swine be your gorilla in a grainy, grainy bay. And if your Swede decries, just tell her that a swine will always pay. . . .
  61. Moral: Let your pages do the walking through the yellow fingers.
  62. Moral: People who live in grass houses shouldn't stow thrones.
  63. MORAL: You can't have your kayak and heat it too.
  64. No, I'm a frayed knot.
  65. Opporknockity tunes but once. [Alternate: O'Pernokkety tunes but once.]
  66. Pardon me Roy, is that the cat who chewed your new shoes?
  67. Repaint! Repaint! And thin no more!
  68. Rudolph, the Red, knows rain, dear.
  69. See! Even adders can multiply on a log table.
  70. Seventy-six strong clones fed the pig Baraid with a hundred and ten Chlorets close at hand.
  71. She is just suffering from pre-minstrel tension.
  72. Silly Rabbi, kicks are for Trids!
  74. Stilling two birds with one's cone.
  75. Stop right where you are, boyfoot bear with teaks of Chan!
  76. Super California Mystic Expert Halitosis.
  77. That has nothing to do with it, he is just a poor conductor.
  78. That was the day the fit hit the Shan.
  79. That's the beer that made Mel Famey walk us.
  80. The first time a reign was called on account of the game.
  81. The furry with the syringe on top.
  82. The hills are alive with the hounds of Munich.
  83. The Koala tea of Mercy is not strained.
  84. The moral of the story: Don't put all your Basques into one exit.
  85. The next day, the headline in the paper read "Peter Viper wrecks a truck of pickled Steppers."
  86. The squire on the hippopotamus is equal to the sons of the other two squires. (Variation: squaw instead of squire.)
  87. The star mangled spanner.
  88. The trill of Vicar Rhee in the agony of the feet.
  89. The White Man's Peak with Forked Tong.
  90. There's Manny, asleep between the Cub and the Lip.
  91. There's no plate like chrome for the hollandaise.
  92. These are the "times" that dry men's soles. [Alternate: These are the soles that time men's tries.]
  93. They had left no tern unstoned.
  94. They're twins. If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal.
  95. Time's fun when you're having flies.
  96. Transporting mynahs over sedate lions for immortal porpoises. [Variations:
  97. Two obese Patties, special Ross, Lester Cheese picking bunions on a Sesame Street bus!
  98. Wait 'til the nun signs, Shelly.
  99. Warning: The searchin' general has determined that smoking ziggurats is hazardous to your stealth.
  100. We can't have archaic and edict, too.
  101. We have come to seize your berries, not to appraise them. [Variant: not to praise them.]
  102. Well, there's something about an aqua Volvo, man. . . .
  103. When you're out of slits, you're out of pier!
  104. Where were you when the fit hit the Shan?
  105. Which just goes to show that, a Benny shaved is a Benny urned.
  106. With fronds like these, who needs anemones?
  107. Yeast is yeast and nest is next, and never the Maine shall tweet.
  108. You can take a hearse to water, but you can't make it sink.
  109. You can take a whore to culture, but you canít make her think. (Dorothy Parker)
  110. You can't have your kayak and heat it too.
  111. You fools! We have ways to make you tock!
  112. Your father's pre-ministerial syndrome caused his premature "Hey Jack, you're late, son."
  113. You're thore!!! I can't even thit!!



0 - 10 — No danger (healthy)
11 - 25 — Minor SPS (recommend therapy)
26 - 40 — Moderate SPS (recommend gag)
41 - 52 — Punster — Major SPS (recommend tongue removal)
more than 53 — Paronomisiac — Extreme SPS (recommend lobotomy).

* * * *

Don't even think about asking either author to swap joke bodies to go with these punch lines! (For one thing, Dan Judd doesn't even know that Mary Matthews exists!) Even we godlike authors don't even know the shaggy dog jokes that go with all these punch lines, so please don't write and ask for them. However, if you know of any shaggy dog jokes that we've missed, please send the punch line (and the joke, if you'd like and it's not too obvious) to both authors.

Shaggy Pun Test originally posted by Dan Judd (

Send other puns as well to Mary Matthews at