I don't know why I phoned.
I wasn't in the mood for talking
but it was there.
It's said that's why
men scale mountains.
And there's something
anticlimatical about that too.
28 August 1989
A pun is a form of word play that suggests two or more meanings, by exploiting multiple meanings of words, or of similar-sounding words. I’m very fond of puns as it happens. But the pun here isn’t a very obvious one. Scale, in this context, is a synonym of climb: we climb mountains. But what do you do when you get to the top? You have to go back down and it’s probably not a good idea to waste too much time slapping each other’s backs at the summit. Why do men climb mountains? The facetious answer is: Because they’re there. It does seem like a rather weak reason for doing anything when you think about it. That’s the thing about climaxes. There’s nowhere to go afterwards but down or back.
Q: What’s the laziest mountain in the world?
A: Mount Everest.
—joke from an old British Fantastic Four Annual