If you slip a pun into our conversation, we're going to have to pause for a moment while I grieve.
  1. β€’
    Denial: This stage is brief because let's be honest, there's no real denying the havoc you've just wreaked on my need to take words literally.
  2. β€’
    Anger: Seriously? I'm annoyed that now we're navigating multiple levels of meaning where we could have had just one. Where does my anger end and the pain of hearing a pun begin??? I feel the pain inflicted by a pun somewhere between the roof of my mouth and my thoracic diaphragm -- not surprisingly the route traveled by the deepest groan.
  3. β€’
    Depression: I'm dejected by the fact that I have successfully delivered about five original puns in my life. Is my brain a vacuous and empty dome where clever words and creative concepts rarely cross paths??? You made a pun, but this is about me now!!! Poor poor me, I'm the worst! 😰😰😰
  4. β€’
    Bargaining: I know that in conversing with you, dear punster, I will always get more than I bargain for. And deep down inside, I do appreciate the magic you're working with words. I admire how limber you are with language. And I LOVE SURPRISES! So...I'll allow it this time. BUT JUST THIS TIME!!! Although, I know there's no stopping you from the next time. And you should know by now that a pun will always set off this cycle. We'll get through it. Maybe I'll learn to like it.
  5. β€’
    Acceptance: You are amazing and hilarious and I totally respect how quickly your brain makes connections. The more clever the connection, the more I accept you. j/k. But really - say you come up with the most clever play on words ever - I may commence a three-year quest to get those words in writing and then memorize the joke and tell this whole long story that makes my friends laugh a lot -- and the punchline is that legendary string of puns. See: THE STORY OF THE SUSHI JOKE (coming soon).