Cruel and Unusual Puns
Alright, fellow professors, do you have any favorite awful jokes that you
inflict on your longsuffering students use to liven up lectures?
I definitely have a set of puns and bad jokes that I draw on. For instance, I tend to start my Perpetuities lecture by noting that “perpetuities are so annoying, there ought to be a rule against them.” (Rimshot.)
But my all-time favorite pun is one that I use at the end of the class on insider trading. After setting out the rule, talking about misappropriation, discussing tipper/tippee liability, running through cases and exercises, I finally note to the class,
Pause. Wait for them to catch it. (This takes slightly longer each year, as ten-year-old politicians fade from memory.) And then smile.
Yep. Definitely the best of the cruel and unusual puns.