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Thursday, January 29, 2009

CHP Urges Sobriety on Super Bowl Sunday (Smart) With Series of Strained Football Puns (Silly)

Posted By on Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 10:20 AM

click to enlarge 'I don't know, Ponch, you think all these football puns will convince people to avoid getting a DUI?'
  • 'I don't know, Ponch, you think all these football puns will convince people to avoid getting a DUI?'
Broaching a serious subject via humorous means is often a dicey proposition. Play it too light and no one notices the wit; play it too heavy and you've trivialized your subject. Truly, it requires a delicate and nuanced sense of humor. And, you know, in my dealings with members of the California Highway Patrol, I haven't yet noticed a delicate and nuanced sense of humor; the last officer I dealt with face to face succinctly informed me, "I pulled you over because you were driving too fast."

So it's no surprise that a press release fired off to members of the media by the CHP urging sobriety on the roads following the Super Bowl is titled with a vile pun: "DRINKING AND DRIVING, NOT SUPER" -- and it just goes downhill from there.

It seems the Boys in Tan never met a pun they didn't like. CHP commissioner Joe Farrow is quoted as stating, "We're asking fans to make the right call, so they won't find themselves benched in a jail cell."

Later, Farrow goes one better and notes that "A DUI is no 5-yard penalty. It's something that will follow you around for years to come." (So ... a 15-yard personal foul, then?).

And yet, any attempt to avoid unintentional humor with this release was lost immediately -- how can you not laugh at a missive to Californians to avoid alcohol written by a man named Jaime Coffee?

Look -- Drunk driving is not funny. Death is not funny. And the CHP -- really not funny. So be serious! Leave out the puns and go right to the heart of this release:

Last year, 12 people died in alcohol-related collisions on Super Bowl Sunday -- three times the state's daily average.

Last Super Bowl Sunday, we arrested 403 drivers for suspected DUIs.

If we arrest you, you will be placed in a cell with Erik Estrada and forced to watch him read Shakespearean monologues.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Bio:
Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

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