The Earth's known reserves of puns are being depleted at an alarming rate, alleges a new report published today by the Pugwash Institute. It concludes that unless new reserves of puns can be found, there may be no commercially viable stocks left by 2025.
Pun production currently stands at almost three-million barrels of laughs per day, but industry experts warn that that figure is set to decline as existing fields are exhausted of all humor, while new fields are generally less rich in the funny stuff, often containing lower quality pun substitutes such as double entendres, humorous misspellings, innuendo and even just ordinary words set in inverted commas (known in the industry as fool's pun).
The search for new sources of puns has led to the exploitation of ever more remote and inaccessible fields, with companies having to plumb ever greater depths just to extract low grade puns suitable only for church newsletters and other low-circulation material.
Pugwash Institute spokesperson Ben Bates stressed the seriousness of the situation: “Our current rate of pun consumption is simply unsustainable. Unless we can rapidly move to a low-pun economy, our children and our children's children will have precious little amusement when they read billboard advertising, visit the hair salon or download a pornographic film.”
The advertising industry is the main user of puns worldwide, accounting for up to 65% of total production, and almost 90% of the kind of highly refined puns that can fuel the chortles, appreciative smiles and rolled eyeballs of up to 60,000 people per week.