Picturing A Perfectly Punny Day in Austin Town

Pun Off sign in front of O. Henry Museum in Austin, Texas
“Pun Off at O. Henry,” Sign for a Punny Day in Austin, Texas by Carol Schiraldi

Last week, I went down to Austin, Texas to take photographs at the annual O. Henry Museum’s Pun-Off. This was the museum’s 47th annual Pun-Off and it was a treat to get to attend and listen to all of the punsters. In the past, I heard that Austin was home to the annual event, but I had never attended. It was a picture perfect sunny day and I was looking forward to the event, so I headed down into Austin to enjoy the festivities.

For those who don’t know, puns are a form of word play, a play on words, often used by authors and other literary folks to express an idea. The actual definition of a pun, according to Dictionary.com is, “the humorous use of a word or phrase so as to emphasize or suggest its different meanings or applications, or the use of words that are alike or nearly alike in sound but different in meaning; a play on words.” It’s probably better to show some examples of puns, so here is one from Douglas Adams, “”You can tune a guitar, but you can’t tuna fish. Unless, of course, you play bass.” Tune a fish/Tuna fish…get it?

At first, I thought it would be rather difficult to participate in such an event. Having to make up puns on the spot? With only five seconds on the clock? Given a topic at hand and having to go head to head against another punster seems like quite the challenge. As I was watching the event, it made me want to participate. While I don’t think I’ll ever do that, I do have a newfound respect for those who enjoy the puns.

These type of events offer me an opportunity to do a lot of spontaneous portraits and that’s just what I did. Walking around in the crowd, I asked a lot of folks if I could take their picture and I also photographed some of the performers as they were doing their thing.

Here are some images from the event.

Two performers face off at the O. Henry Museum Pun-Off competition.
“Two Performers and the Judge,” at the Pun-Off in Austin, Texas

Here is a portrait of one of the performers. He also wrote music and played the guitar at the event:

“Performer at the Pun-Off,” Austin, Texas, 2024

Here are a few more portraits:

Portrait from the O. Henry Museum Pun-Off competition
“Portrait from the Pun-Off,” by Carol Schiraldi
Portrait from the Pun-Off, smiling
“Smiling at the Pun-Off,” Austin, Texas
Punster on stage performing puns at the O. Henry Museum Pun-Off.
“Performing Puns at the Pun-Off in Austin, Texas,” by Carol Schiraldi

I’ve done some portraits in the past but these were kind of fun and different. I have to say I really enjoyed the Pun-Off. I hope you enjoy the images as well.

Until next time…

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