Another punny Valentine’s Day for my honey

Whether you're a fan of puns or not, you'll enjoy this Rare Disease Day message

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by Carlos Briceño |

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My objectives in this column are to acknowledge two upcoming holidays: Valentine’s Day, which my wife, Jill, doesn’t believe in (she thinks it’s manufactured and that love should be celebrated every day), and Rare Disease Day, on Feb. 28, which raises awareness and prompts change for the 300 million people in the world living with a rare illness.

In what has become a tradition, around Feb. 14, I write something romantic, funny, and punny in Jill’s honor. So here goes …

The scene: A Rare Disease Day panel discussion in a hotel conference room. Seated in front of several hundred people are five scientists and Carlos and Jill, the latter of whom is gene-positive for Huntington’s disease (HD).

Jill: To prove that puns do cure Huntington’s disease, I had to become like an alligator in a vest.

Carlos: In other words, ladies and gentlemen, she became an investigator.

Jill: As my husband proved two years ago, his constant punning cured me of my HD — until it didn’t.

Carlos: We were puzzled when her symptoms — such as chorea, which is characterized by brief and abrupt movements that are irregular and unpredictable — returned after they had initially disappeared. So we started asking questions about what led to their reappearance.

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Jill: It was like asking a teddy bear if he’s hungry …

Carlos: When clearly he’s stuffed.

Jill: What we thought was the cure — Carlos making a lot of puns and me learning to laugh at them because I used to hate puns — was like thinking you’re a vegetarian …

Carlos: When clearly it was all just a big missed steak.

Jill: The mistake was like being in an art competition that ends in a draw; I wasn’t fully enveloped in the wonderful world of sun and fun — otherwise known as the Punshine State of Being.

Carlos: It was like she was using social media at a companywide retreat — and all she did was retweet.

Jill: In short, I needed to be the pun who came up with the puns — and not just laugh at the hilarity of them.

Dr. No: So if I hear you correctly, Mrs. Briceño, the cure for HD comes only if you generate the puns?

Jill: Yes, Dr. No. (Pause) Is that really your name?

Dr. No: No.

Jill: Or are you just a scientist pretending not to be a Bond villain?

Dr. No: No.

Carlos: OK, your name makes sense now.

Jill: To answer you directly, Dr. No, despite how much you must despise the following word: yes. Once I started generating puns, yes, my symptoms disappeared again, and, yes, they have remained gone — like the wind — for the past year. It was like I took a blood test and got an A+ on it.

Dr. Blond: Wow, an A+! Kudos to you! You must be, like, so smart. Like, I took a pregnancy test yesterday and couldn’t believe, like, how hard the questions were.

Carlos: So, esteemed scientists, what we’re trying to say is that we’ve finally discovered the cure for HD, and Jill is open to y’all running tests to prove that what she’s experienced is true?

Dr. Howe: How can you be so positive?

Jill: I am so positive I am not gene-positive with HD that I am like a vampire who was 100% positive he had COVID-19. You know why he was so certain?

Dr. Howe: How?

Jill: Because he was coffin.

Dr. Dubious: This is all preposterous. I don’t believe a word you’ve said.

Dr. Stern: I agree, and I don’t find what you’ve said to be funny. I think it’s a travesty to hear you mocking our efforts to find a cure.

Carlos: I assure you, we are not making pun of you.

Jill: We just realize that any family that confronts HD — or any rare disease for that matter — can act like a grape that’s been crushed and whine all the time. Or, we can turn moose falling from the sky into rain.

Carlos: OK, my dear, please ‘splain that one.

Jill: It’s not moose that’s falling, it’s reindeer.

Carlos: So what I’m hearing is that we have to make lemonade out of lemons.

Jill: Cit-rus got real!

Carlos: In other words, what you’re saying, my love, is that laughing is just like crying — except without the tears.

Jill: As the chicken said right before giving birth, eggsactly.

Note: Huntington’s Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Huntington’s Disease News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Huntington’s disease.


Kathy howell avatar

Kathy howell

I happen to agree with your wife. However I love the care you give her.

Carlos Briceño avatar

Carlos Briceño

Hello Kathy,

Thank you for sharing your views, you made Jill smile today. She loves me despite my puns, that's all I can ask of her.


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