Michael Barnes

September 18, 2001

Post #1368 – 20010918

Dear Mr. Pinkwater,

To find a bit of solace in a troubling week, my small family visited Maymont this past Sunday. Maymont is a city park, formally a 100 acre Victorian estate in our fair city of Richmond. The park includes the mansion, carriages house, stables, zoos, and extensive gardens. As we wandered through the lower gardens the good wife and I came into a clearing where there was a grotto. Unlike the rest of the gardens, the grotto was unkempt, the tesserae covered with dirt, the fountain dry, and the benches in disrepair. The good wife observed that the grotto look abandoned, to which I replied that it was “persona non grotto.” That’s where the trouble began. The good wife grimaced, but I found myself highly amused by the speed and daring of this pun. Repeats only elicited moans. When we met back up with my jogging 17 year old step-daughter, there were additional moans. I maintained that it is a brilliant and witty pun, but to be fair, I would put it up to arbitration, and that the best judge was none other than yourself. Therefore, good sir, we submit this case to you: is this a worthy pun, or should I abandon such efforts? Thank you for your consideration.

Daniel replies:

Had you been ejected from the grotto by a park official, you might have remarked that _you_ were ""persona non grotto."" Which wouldn't have been worth repeating, but at least it would have been sort of funny. To say that the grotto was persona non grotto makes no nonsense. You must be an academic of some sort.

You should repeat the words of a great man: ""I should be punish-ed for every pun I shed. Do not leave a puny shred of my punnish head.""