“The peasants are revolting.” “You’re telling me!”
It's an old joke, but it’s one that never gets old.
We should say that it’s an old joke that never gets old for people who like puns, and who doesn’t? Well, as it turns out, a lot of people don’t like puns, and they’re the funniest people to tell them to.
What makes puns funny – to people who think they are funny – is the double meaning. “Revolting,” for instance can mean two (or more) different things: rising up in rebellion, or extraordinarily unappealing.
Which is exceptionally funny, because “appealing” can mean two or more things, too.
“Appealing” can refer to something or someone that’s attractive, or it can refer to a formal effort, legal or otherwise, to reverse a decision that’s been made.
If Jennifer Aniston or Sandra Bullock had lost a court case and someone told you she was appealing, it would be the perfect opportunity to say, “You’re telling me!”
You probably wouldn’t respond that way if someone told you that former state Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry – having been convicted two months ago on 10 federal counts of wire fraud, mail fraud, and lying to federal agents – was appealing.
Instead, you might say: “Not to me, he isn’t.”
But even that wouldn’t really be funny, because what he did isn’t funny.
He wrote a book about corruption in West Virginia politics and then used it, apparently, as a manual, thereby further tarnishing the reputation of our state and its citizens.
Loughry has the right to appeal, just as we all do, but he also has the option to confess his guilt and start making reparations for the harm he’s done. He could set an example for the rest of us, in case we ever transgress the rules of right behavior.
That would make him more appealing.