shigoto

Some say that puns are the lowest form of humor–we say those people have no sense of humor! Of course, that’s not to say that all puns are comedic genius, a fact easily proven by turning on any used car lot commercial, but we love a good pun.

While not all puns are created equal, we have to say that our favorite puns often come from children. There’s something perfectly surreal about a child’s fumbling of language–but of all the puns we’ve seen, this might be one of the best…

Simple yet adorable, the only thing this joke is missing is someone screaming “Do you get it?” while laughing manically. The picture was drawn by the daughter of Japanese Twitter user @aarinwassyoi and it probably needs a tiny bit of explanation–a father cheering on Japanese idol group Momoiro Clover isn’t exactly high (or low) comedy in and of itself.

▼Though their costumes may inspire some giggles.

As you’re surely already aware, Japanese is absolutely riddled with homonyms. Take はし (hashi) for example: It can mean a bridge, chopsticks, a ladder, or an edge. Though there are slight tonal differences to differentiate the meanings in conversation, it can be easy to miss them–and the intended meaning–though it’s usually at least obvious from context. (It’s rather unlikely that someone will ask you to climb the chopsticks!) Though what a mess it would be if you had to climb along the edge of a ladder made of chopsticks on a bridge…

Getting back to the illustration by @aarinwassyoi’s elementary-school daughter, she was supposed to draw her “father hard at work” for a class assignment. An adult might immediately think of a harried office worker banging out TPS reports, and this young girl had a slightly similar idea, deciding to draw her father “oshigotochuu” (お仕事中) or in the middle of work.

▼Kind of like this cat, who has no idea what’s going on.

BxJplw0CEAA3RUlTwitter (@yumemizuki_18)

If you’ve taken first-year Japanese, you very likely are familiar with the word “shigoto” and the numerous times you’ve been asked it in class. Adding an “o” to the beginning makes it sound formal and is often used when talking about someone else’s work. Adding “chuu” to the end means “in the middle of.” So, this illustration should be a depiction of her father at work–but, in case you’re wondering–@aarinwassyoi is not a professional Momoiro Clover fan.

It turns out that there’s another meaning for “oshigotochuu,” when written like this 推し事中. First, 推し (oshi) means “a fan” or a “supporter,” but since it’s 推し事 (oshigoto), the phrase means literally “the thing of recommending something,” or, to put it in clearer terms, to support something. And, as before, 中 (chuu) means to be in the middle of doing something–in this case, to be in the middle of supporting (or cheering) someone. Why that someone happens to be Momoiro Clover, we don’t know. But our money is on the theory that the group is actually beaming mind control waves into their young fans and using the children to take over the world. You can’t prove it’s not true!

▼”What the hell are you talking about?”

dogTwitter (@skwww1230)

Well, conspiracy theories aside, we hope you enjoyed the trip to the punchline. We admit that it was a pretty long way to go, but this pun had us in stitches, and we just wanted to share the joy! Or pain? Either way, we weren’t the only ones to enjoy it–the tweet has been retweeted over 13,000 times and most–if not all–of the comments are glowing with praise.

And remember this phrase next time you’re late for drinks with friends–just tell them you were “oshigotochuu” and they’ll surely forgive you! Unless you really are a professional Momoiro Clover supporter…

Sources: Twitter, Jin115
Images: Twitter