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.