I'm sure some people must think I've got a lot of nerve criticizing new structures being built around town or things the BAR may or may not deem architecturally appropriate when Evening Post Industries (the P&C parent company and formerly known as Evening Post Publishing) is in the midst of conceiving and executing development of about 10 acres of land around its Columbus Street domain.

1. I'm a lay person and don't know anything. 2. What y'all are putting up better be aesthetically pleasing and consistent with editorial opinion (and that of certain columnists) or risk looking like a bunch of hypocrites and jackasses.

Well, EPI has gone to great length and expense to try and come up with pleasing designs, which thankfully have been supported by the city of Charleston. And they're handsomely traditional - or so I'd like to think - and will hopefully keep me out of the hot seat when they finally start to take form. They should at least stand out somewhat from what's being built to the south, which are buildings with something of a generic modernish appearance and all look the same.

******

In the pithy pun department, a considerate reader sends me a sampling:

I thought I saw a one-eyed doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

She was only a whiskey-maker, but he loved her still.

No matter how much one pushes the envelope, it will still be stationary.

A dog gave birth to some puppies near a road and was given a citation for littering.

Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

A backward poem writes inverse.

In a democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your count that votes.

A buzzard tried to take a couple of extra items onto an airplane. "I'm sorry, sir," the flight attendant said. "Only one carrion per passenger."

Finally, for all chemistry nerds, there's the one about a couple of hydrogen atoms meeting. "I've lost my electron," one of them says. "Are you sure?" asked his mate. "Yes, I'm positive."

****

A long time ago - back in the mid-'70's and in the day when beer was legally consumed at the age of 18 - there was a handful of watering holes my friends and I would visit. One of them was a joint called the Hog Penny, which was on the northwest corner of Wentworth and St. Philip Streets. It was literally a step-down, living-room sized hole-in-the-wall joint with a blue haze of tobacco smoke, an overflowing crowd and the popping noise of beer cans and bottles being opened.

Back then bars were still effectively segregated - not legally, of course - but an African American would no more visit the Hog Penny than I'd go visit the Apollo Lounge on upper East Bay. We just hadn't gotten there yet.

But an exception to that was Joseph "P-nut" Johnson, who not only frequented the Hog Penny, but the Three Nags and other establishments, a lone black face among seas of white. P-nut, now 59, must have one heck of a story to tell.

At any rate, he has long since taken to writing poetry and had a reading at the County Library a couple of Saturdays ago. As he proudly boasts, "There ain't no poem like a P-nut poem." And indeed he put on 90 minutes of lively, raucous entertainment with select readings of some of his favorite works (available for sale), which I hope to able to quote at some point, in addition to trying to figure out what has been going on in P-nut's head all these years.

Hopefully I can get some scoop from Charleston's legendary Lowcountry poet (and maybe reminiscences from others who remember him?)

Reach Edward M. Gilbreth at edwardgilbreth@comcast.net.