Saturday Morning Oys – April 16th, 2022 

I did literally LOL! But filing it with the OYs for the word play.

Okay, the oldest phonetic exchange on the books; but they do something new with it.
Now the rainman gave me two cures
Then he said, “Jump right in”
The one was Texas medicine
The other was just railroad gin
An’ like a fool I mixed them
An’ it strangled up my mind
An’ now people just get uglier
An’ I have no sense of time

Writing prompt: That’s a *winch*. Why is that a better pun than a *wrench* would have been?


  1. I think a simple vowel change is much less intrusive and makes for better wordplay than introducing (or subtracting) an “R”, but what I find most interesting about that last panel is that it has been included directly in the post, eliminating the need for a jump over to Larson’s new website.

  2. It was just a case of not feeling up to the tedium of constructing the link alternative, and saying something about it. But we may be better off maintaining discretion about this.

  3. I think with ‘wrench’, the joke would be immediate. It takes half a beat with ‘winch’, as you’ve got to take a second to work out what’s in his hand. I would think winches are a little less instantly recognisable than wrenches nowadays, unless you’re a sailor. To me at least, this brief pause letting the joke sink in makes it a bit funnier. (What? Oh wait…I get it…he’s got a winch!)

  4. @Stan, I never thought about, or think about, sailors in relation to winches. I work for a utility, and every bucket truck has a winch on the bucket, along with every (other) crane on its arm, and we have winch-based rescue equipment at every manhole in case we have to pull someone out.

  5. Wench/winch: pen/pin merger.

    The “Wrong Hands” has an item that requires being able to mistake “Lawn Quixote” for “Don Quixote”. (Well, apart from the first letter …).

    While Stan and Carl Fink are settling whether sailors or utility workers are more likely to use winches, can we consider which will be found with wenches?

  6. All this talk about wenches makes me think of my experience at Medieval Times some 35 years ago. We were told that the female servers would not respond to being addressed with anything but “wench”. Anyone know if that’s still the case? I’m guessing no in this era we are in now.

  7. Back in the day, many used vehicles were transacted through the want ads in the newspaper. When I would be checking those for a replacement 4×4, I would sometimes see ones with “wench included”. I would get a laugh. The want ads were a common source of misspellings, like “rod iron furniture” or “chester drawers”. I suspect that’s because people often called them into the paper, so there was an extra opportunity to get it wrong.

  8. @Carl Fink – Interesting. As you didn’t consider sailors, I never considered utility workers. In fact, now that I put some thought into it, I imagine that there are many professionals who use winches that didn’t cross my mind. Perhaps winches are more common than I originally thought. Sorry.

    @ Danny Boy – “…can we consider which will be found with wenches?”


  9. Mark M:

    The medieval “wench” was not a term of disparagement. It was simply descriptive of a profession — that is, of a female servant.

  10. I’m wondering how the winch-wench gag wint over in New Zealand. Probably didn’t make it past the iditor’s disk.

  11. Brian In STL: My favorite want ad typo was for a “fore clift” driver.

    Even though it did take me an extra second or two to get the winch joke, in the end I thought it was funnier precisely because it was less obvious.

  12. Typos?

    These are, or were, all real websites: (who represents) (go tahoe) (choose spain) (experts exchange) (pen island) (speed of art) (dickson data) (mammoth erection – a scaffolding company) (as in people who provide therapies)

    Others which used to exist: (via grafix) (the Mole Station Nursery) (powergen italia) (ferreth and jobs – lawyers)

  13. We have some internal system that’s been coming for a year or two (!) called Idea Exchange. People started off calling it Ideas Exchange; I fixed that by writing “Idea Sexchange” a few times. Now they remember.

    BTW, Snopes says PowergenItalia never happened. But it could have.

  14. @Danny Boy:

    “[i]The “Wrong Hands” has an item that requires being able to mistake “Lawn Quixote” for “Don Quixote”. (Well, apart from the first letter …).[/i]”

    Is this going to be another one of these things where in some places people have the same vowel sounds in ‘lawn’ and ‘don’?

  15. @Phil Smith III

    We have some internal system that’s been coming for a year or two (!) …

    In case you’re not a computer person, I should probably point out that “Real Soon Now” is a technical term meaning “sometime before the heat-death of the universe, maybe.”

    —Scott Fahlman

    Warning – starting at the top of that page and reading all of it will provide you with both some wonderful quotes and a very deep rabbit hole.

    BTW, Snopes says PowergenItalia never happened. But it could have.


  16. Wow, not that I thought Snopes was infallible, but I kinda assumed they’d do at least that level of checking–I should have done so too! Thanks.

    Ah, I didn’t read the whole article–here’s the key graf:
    But the folks at Powergen maintained that they had nothing to do with the choice of domain name and didn’t even have an Italian division. The domain apparently hosts the web site of a real Italian company (Powergen Italia) which sells specialized battery products.

    I’m disappointed that they marked it “False”; should have been one of the other values, maybe “Misattributed”, since whether it’s the utility or not, it’s still a funny domain name! Maybe they think because it was a toy company it’s less interesting. Well, maybe. Anyway, thanks again!

  17. Why is that a better pun than a wrench would have been?
    Because you were expecting “wrench.”

  18. I just spent way too much time on the related Tropes page

    And you’re back already? I recently got sucked in by the Adventure Time tropes page. Pleasant, but used up a lot of time (without a lot of adventure). Good thing I’m no longer a productive member of society.

    I did find out that there were some sequel mini-series created for the HBO streaming service, so I will look at trying to view those in some fashion.

  19. @Phil Smith III – Powergen Italia wasn’t a toy company. Or do you mean the company was someone’s toy, not a company which made toys?

  20. MikeP: The latter, sorry–a company which was a toy, not a company that made toys!

  21. Must be a well made toy, then, as it’s still in business. OOI, what is the definition of a “toy company”?

  22. I don’t think I’ve ever heard “toy company” used that way. On the other hand in investigations you always hear about “setting up a shell corporation” – on Florida’s Sanibel Island there are many businesses dealing in seashells, but why are forensic accountants so concerned about them? :-))

  23. MikeP:

    Must be a well made toy, then, as it’s still in business.
    It is? Website isn’t there.

    OOI, what is the definition of a “toy company”?
    A company that isn’t viable/serious; a hobby company; some lifestyle companies; a front, etc. Lots of varieties. It’s a usage that I’m familiar with (“a toy whatever“) but I guess isn’t as common as I’d thought.

  24. @ PS3 – That’s not your fault, that’s what the WordPress template does with the “blockquote” tag. Fixing that would require editing the template, which is either technically difficult and/or not included in the CIDU subscription plan.

  25. No idea why that font is huge, sorry!

    A popular option for quoting is to put the block in italics. You can use the markdown underscores or the HTML.

  26. A popular option for quoting is to put the block in italics. You can use the markdown underscores or the HTML

    Another choice is the code style, as just illustrated. You can get that using Markdown paired back tick characters, or HTML tag “code”.

  27. So – a couple of spoken word examples of the same thing, told to me once by a colleague who at one time had worked for Wang ( for those not of a certain age).

    This might not click with Americans (which is how the problems arose in the first place).

    At one point they had an advertising strapline, and receptionists worldwide were told to answer the phone with it.

    Good morning, Wang cares.

    At a different time, the standard greeting was to be (in English), the name of the company and the location. Not such a winning idea for the Cologne office.

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