FridayFebruary 252005
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Punny fellows: These college dropouts turned Web entrepreneurs are never lost for wordplays

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"We're hoping Ron MacLean himself will make an appearance," says Tanzola.

"We've contacted his people," adds Louis. "We faxed him."

They've also made T-shirts emblazoned with some of their best visual puns -- for example, "one knight stand" and "a salt and battery" -- and are looking to invest in some office accessories, such as nameplates. And of course, in whatever time they have left, they're coming up with more puns.

"At first, it took us about 20 minutes to come up with one," says Tanzola, "but now we can do about 150 in an hour."

The Pun Gents Web site only scores about 50 hits each day, and the boys have yet to solicit advertisers -- but despite this, and the fact that they've abandoned stable career paths for such an unusual enterprise, the parents of both remain supportive.

"Our families agree that you have to do what you love," says Louis. "And I think we all realize that, if we can make this popular, we can do anything."

As the interview concludes, Tanzola hands me his business card, which lists him and Louis as "creative consultants." His final words are about the Post's National Mitten Registry. "You know," he says, "on Valentine's Day, you should have called it the National Smitten Registry."

© National Post 2005

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