The Pun Also Rises: Home with the Honkertons


My across-the-street neighbors are driving me crazy. Well, not them, but their friends the Honkertons. At least, I presume that’s their name. On various mornings, the Honkertons drive up in front of my neighbor’s house at times as early as 7 am and honk their horn. At 7 am, I am asleep. At 7:01 am, sometimes I am not, and this is irritating. They also drive by occasionally in the afternoon or evening to stop in front of the house and honk as well. They are apparently unable to call them on the phone, knock on the door, or communicate their arrival in any way except honking.

I used to be mad at them, but now I feel sorry for them; they can only communicate through honking. How sad must it be to have no other way to interact with your friends? To look adoringly at the woman with whom you are in love, and only be able to honk? (Feel free to make your own "horn-y" joke here.)

I often hear this honking, because I am home. Although I’m not married, I work from home and so some people might be tempted to call me a househusband. While the housewife is an occupation with much tradition behind it, many people look down their noses at househusbands, and find something strange about the man being the one to do laundry and dishes and alphabetizing the fridge and so forth.

Some of these objections are from people who feel that a man should aspire to more than just housework, that such trifling chores are best left to women, so men can focus on climbing the corporate ladder and shooting things and saying harrumph and so forth. Others somehow think that men aren’t sufficiently competent at domestic tasks and will do them wrong. I was pondering how silly this is just yesterday as I was washing the biscuits.

See, what happened was, I was doing dishes by dumping piles of dirty dishes from the counter into the sink, and one of those piles happened to have a large bowl that was dirty because it had a half-dozen biscuits inside of it wrapped in a towel. So I had rinsed the whole pile of dishes before examining them to find biscuits inside. But at least nobody will say that I have dirty biscuits.

I’m not sure whether it’s grief over ruined biscuits that keeps me awake some mornings, or whether it’s the honking across the street, or just being too cold to sleep. Finding a solution seems like a wild goose chase. But maybe that’s exactly what I need; chasing down wild geese is the best way to fill a warm comforter with down (wild geese). Unfortunately, wild geese are feisty and dangerous creatures, as my ankles can attest.

I decided it would be safer to simply visit a Canadian goose farm. I traveled far to get there, and greeted the proprietor when I arrived. He asked where I was from, so I explained where I lived in North Adams. "Oh, I used to live there," he said. I was surprised, and said, "Wow, what a coincidence! Why did you move?"

He looked at me and said, "There was too much honking."

Seth Brown is an award-winning humor writer, the author of "From God To Verse," and has very clean biscuits. His website is


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