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Pun-Loving Priest Triumphs In Boardwalk Competition

August 20, 1994

OCEAN CITY, N.J. (AP) _ The contest was for putrid puns, and the winner shore had enough to stink up the whole beach.

Faster than you could say, ″Send him to a punitentiary 3/8″ Joseph Ganiel put a billiard rack on his head (″I’m racking my brain″), blew air through a paper cup (″I’m whistling Dixie″), and stuck a photograph of Clark Gable behind an empty picture frame (″Gable TV 3/8″).

Ganiel, the associate pastor at Queen of Apostles Church in Pennsville, was obviously the cream of a malnourished crop. The other six contestants were so bad, the 75-person audience didn’t even groan. It just winced.

So it went Friday at the inaugural Putrid Pun Contest, the conclusion of what is known as Weird Week, a series of offbeat events that included a wet T- shirt contest in which the object was to see how far you could throw one.

The pun contest is the creation of Mark Soifer, the man behind such demented parodies as the Miss Crustacean beauty contest and a weather- predicting hermit crab named Martin Z. Mollusk.

Soifer began the festivities by leading the crowd in a sing-a-long to the tune of ″Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.″

″Stinkle, stinkle, little pun, pun for all and all for pun,″ they sang.

Then came Ganiel, the first contestant, with a winning pun collection that included these:

- ″When they asked me to do this, I had to check my colander,″ he said, holding up a kitchen strainer.

- He held up two toy bumble bees, their backsides toward the audience. ″What’s this? Honey-mooners.″

- ″This is taken from the Ocean City Police Department,″ he said, holding a toilet seat and lid. ″Whatever you do, do not tell the policemen that I have it. So far, they don’t have a thing to go on.″

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