August, 2016

This installment of “This Month in Pun” is brought to you by On and On-Anon, self-help groups for compulsive talkers, found in various locations throughout Pun.

August 1-31: For the entire month of August, the Dog Days celebration takes place in Baskerville in northwestern Pun. Baskerville is widely known as the dog-breeding capital of the island. Many breeds of dogs, found only on Pun, originated here, including the the Allyn Shepherd, the Penny Pinscher, the Finger Pointer, the Johnathon Livingstone Beagle, the Knitten Afghan, the Angela Basset, the Skool-Kaffa Terrier, the Mellon Collie, and the Jimmy Crack Cairn. Many activities are planned and include free trips across the Bay of DeHounds on the Hounds Tooth Ferry. The festivities conclude on the 31st with the National Dog Show finals and the naming of the Best Dog in Show. Last year, two time winner Perro, an Habla Spaniel, was dethroned by Spock, a Beemiup Scottie. Another highlight of the show is the customary singing of the puppy judges’ song, “I’m Going to Sit Right Down and Rate Myself a Litter.”

August 6-7: Nachos Island, off Pun’s southern coast, hosts the Chili con Carnival, with its chili cooking competition. Two years ago, a new category – Hot and Sole – was added to introduce fish chili to the competition and was a big success. Commemorative T-shirts of the cook-off are available and feature the carnival slogan, “Bean There – Downed That.”

August 13-14: Courtens Park in Pun City is the site of this year’s National Kiss-Off, where couples kiss and try to be the last one off the buss. Once again, the competition’s festivities include romantic poetry recitations by Pun’s Poet Laureate Wordsworth Reading, and love songs sung by Spanish songstress Bessie Mae Mucho.

This Month’s Special Report: The Isle of Nachos: “It was a dark and stormy knight that approached Queen Faraday’s castle on the Isle of Nachos on that bleak November day.” So begins Mort DeArthur’s account of Queen Faraday’s legendary city of Buenos Nachos and the Court of Good Knights. The gallant knights traversed the islands, performing acts of derring-do (and what men of daring don’t?). Sir Jeckyl Steele, for example, used his blade to carve quite a name for himself by cutting many an evil foe down to size. Sir Lee Muldowny, on the other hand, was a dragon specialist. Sir Ron D’Pitty was always finding himself in unexpected adventures.
The knight mentioned in DeArthur’s opening above is, of course, Nomoon, the Black Knight. His arranged marriage to Queen Faraday, his repeated unfaithfulness, and her revenge through the bloody Seven-Year-Itch War are all parts of the legend that even Pun’s grade school children know. For the past ten years, however, DeArthur has been researching the Buenos Nachos myth, has pored over ancient manuscripts, and has even walked the areas of Ruffles Ridge where the legendary city is said to have stood. The result is DeArthur’s new book A Little Myth Understanding, in which he reveals newly discovered pieces of the legend.
For example, the Court of Good Knights had a resident magician, Merlin the Haggard, who was said to have risen from his tomb in the small village of Abra and is therefore sometimes referred to as the Abra Cadaver. Merlin was wrongfully accused of putting a curse on Nomoon which led to Nomoon’s infidelity.
Also in the court was the knights’s fencing instructor, Perry Enthrust. Known for his rapier wit, Enthrust was actually a spy for Queen Faraday’s old enemy, Lord I.C. Liverspots, the Earl of Olay. Enthrust’s allegiance changed, however, and with a desperate sword duel with Liverspots, Enthrust ran his sword through the old Earl’s chest. “Curses!” Liverspots shrieked, “Foiled again!”
During the Seven-Year-Itch War, Queen Faraday received help from an unlikely source, her court entertainer, Gofer the Juggler. Pressed into service as a courier during the climactic Battle of the Bands, Gofer came upon a regiment of the Queen’s trooos trapped in a mountain pass by a river of molten lava spewing from the island’s volcano, Mauna Roll. “We’re trapped!” called out the captain to Gofer. “There is no way direction in which we can proceed.”
“Nonsense!” replied Gofer. “There must be fifty ways to leave your lava.” And with that, Gofer proceeded to lead the Queen’s troops through a mountain tunnel until they were behind Nomoon’s lines.
For his heroism, Gofer was a made an honorary member of the Queen’s Lavaliers. He also remained Queen Faraday’s most beloved entertainer. In his later years, he is said to have developed a new style of music subsequently named in his honor, Gofer Baroque.
There are some historians who claim that Buenos Nachos and the Court of Good Knights actually existed. They note the discovery at excavation sites of jewelry and precious stones, such as the Teerzoffa Crown, Tiara Boomdiay, and the Verne Jewels, as evidence that the ancient ruins on the island were once a thriving city. Whether these items are the sole remaining relics from the fabled court or perhaps part of some pirate’s long lost treasure is still open to speculation.