On the eve of the 20th Century, a University of Pennsylvania freshman named Walter F. Spoon transcribed a conversation between two upperclassmen: famed aristocrat and aspiring writer Killington Masterson Punch, and commoner Hezekiah Bowl:
Killington Masterson Punch: Ah Mr. Bowl, how have you been? I haven’t seen you since the regatta down by our pristine Schukyll.
Hezekiah Bowl: All is well, Punch. I just bought my lunch at Hemo’s food carriage, I believe that some day soon, Hemo will have his own restaurant.
Punch: That would be delightful. Wouldn’t it Bowl?
Bowl: Indeed it would, Punch. I must say, I at times find myself at wit’s end when it comes to the extra curricular offerings at this University.
Punch: What do you mean, Bowl? Are you not enjoying your time in your fraternity for low-income tenement dwellers?
Bowl: I am, but I can’t spend all of my time with those fellows. A man can only drink so much. And our my floor collapsed into Chadwick’s last night, so I must find a place to sleep for the next 6 months while they find someone to repair the damage.
Punch: Bowl, that’s dreadful! I’d offer you one of my guest rooms in the chateau, but there are hardly enough rooms for my servants as it is.
Bowl: That’s okay, Punch, perhaps one day I shall be able to live in the Hill Chateau. Perhaps with 500 other students.
Punch: Ha! You can’t fit 500 people in here! It would be a true hellhole!
Bowl: Well, that is the least of my worries. Right now I need to decide how to spend my time.
Punch: I understand your quandary, Bowl. I too find myself with idle hands, and none of the activities our campus has to offer appeal to me in the slightest.
Bowl: There are so many a capella groups. Why, when I walked down Locust Walk today, I was handed TWO flyers for a capella shows!
Punch: That’s far too many.
Bowl: Certainly so! What if a third a capella group infiltrates our campus?
Punch: Don’t say such things, Bowl! Worst of all, there are no outlets for the creativity of aspiring writers like myself!
Bowl: What about the Daily Pennsylvanian?
[They both chuckle heartily.]
Punch: Ah Bowl. I do appreciate your wit.
Bowl: Thank you, Punch. However I would trade all of the wit in the world for your gift of writing…and your vast economic resources that come with them, of course.
Punch: Perhaps we can combine my rhetorical gifts and sums of money with your sharp wit. We can create a publication whose sole purpose is to provide humor and mirth to the campus of our dear University.
Bowl: A splendid idea, Punch! How shall we begin?
Punch: Well let us first map out an expected progression for the magazine.
Bowl: We can start this year, and publish consecutively up through the 1930’s.
Punch: Yes, but then of course something terrible will happen in the 1940’s, so we’ll make sure that the magazine takes a break then.
Bowl: Yes, of course.. When shall we begin publishing again?
Punch: How about the mid-1960’s?
Bowl: Sure, by then our reputation will have disappeared from the minds of the students and we can begin anew. Shall we plan any other breaks.
Punch: Perhaps a year or two off every so often.
Punch: Why not?
Bowl: Point taken, Punch. What sorts of individuals shall we seek out to work on our magazine?
Punch: Our staff must be focused, sociable, and attractive. All three qualities must deteriorate as the magazine progresses throughout history.
Bowl: Ah yes, of course. But shall we let in the Jews?
Punch: Eventually. Some day, I hope that the Jews can run our dear magazine.
Bowl: A bold thought, Punch. Very bold.
Punch: But what shall we call this magazine?
Bowl: I suggest that we name it for ourselves.
Punch: Brilliant, Bowl! Now, we must get started on publishing the first issue of The Killington Masterson Hezekiah Quarterly!
Bowl: Yes! A perfect name! We shall begin writing at once!
Spoon: Why don’t you just call it The Punch Bowl?
Punch: Quiet, Spoon! We do not pay you a cent per week to offer us your idiotic ideas! You are our transcriber and nothing more. Now go back to your rhubarb farm and repent for your insolence.
Spoon: But I just –
Bowl: OUT WITH YOU, SPOON! GET OUT OF THIS CHATEAU!
This is the end of the transcription. Four days later, Punch and Bowl were both killed by a mysterious poisoned rhubarb. Walter F. Spoon created The Punch Bowl in their memory, and ran the magazine until he was mysteriously kidnapped in 2009. The publication is now in joint possession of the Punch and Bowl estates.