Ben Mayo

YAKIMA, Wash. -- The math professor at Yakima Valley College who relishes wacky wordplay has published his fourth book of groan-inducing puns.

Ben Mayo will sign copies of “What’s the Difference Between ...? Vol. 4: Yet another collection of twisted phrases leading to bad puns” from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Encore Books, 415 W. Walnut St., Yakima.

“Some people love them,” said Mayo, who has also written two math textbooks he uses in class. “Other people are like, ‘Oh yeah, it’s puns.’”

A few examples:

• What’s the difference between what you eat after an appetizer, but before dessert, and the rough hair on a horse’s neck?

One is a main course and the other is a coarse mane.

• What’s the difference between a strip of material used to bind a wound and determining when a music group was formed?

One is a bandage and the other is the age of a band.

• What’s the difference between another term for Celsius and a coin collector determining the condition of a penny?

One is centigrade and the other is to grade a cent.

A math professor at the college for nearly 30 years, Mayo has published his books of about 100 wordplay puns every several months. He’s already working on the fifth volume.

Mayo is also developing a game based on the books. His goal is to have the game ready for Christmas 2019.

“It will be a competition between two teams. All the questions/answers in the books would be on cards. There’d be some kind of a time limit; maybe a team has three minutes to get through as many cards as they can. I need to figure out how much time is needed,” he said.

For more information about Saturday’s book signing, call 509-457-4660 or email

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