Zwicky, however, was more appreciative than I, and in fact he has launched a solstice orgy of visual puns, with follow-up postings here and here. As I savored this bounty (the "chillin' wif ma peeps" cartoon is priceless), it dawned on me that my very own home boasts a pun-art installation, an assemblage my husband created from (once) easily available materials for a total of less than $20.
What's his homemade sculptural pun? It starts with this lineup:
These are "talking" mugs with the likeness and voice of Bill Goldberg, erstwhile pro wrestling champ. Push a button on the cup, and Goldberg emits one of his signature battle cries. So when the Goldbergs are properly primed,* you can push their buttons in succession and hear three different bellows: "THIS IS GOLDBERG," a threatening "BAHHH ...," and Goldberg's victory roar, "WHO'S NEXT?" These are, of course -- ta da! -- the Goldberg Variations.
True, Paul's little showpiece is harder to dust than a plastic pig, and it does require AAA batteries. But then, the Scottish wool blanket on the high-priced porker is surely not maintenance-free either. I'd been hoping we might get rid of the Goldbergs, but what did I know? Turns out they're not tacky souvenirs at all, they're witty pop art.
*As I wrote this, I realized that in fact, any one of the Goldbergs can run through the entire repertoire of Goldberg Variations; the three make a formidable array, but they're not strictly necessary to the
joke artwork. So if a Goldberg (variations included) would make your life complete, do make an offer; I'll be sure to pass it on.