Tornadoes don't often stand as a topic for humor.

Perhaps Pecos Bill got a kick out of riding one, and maybe Dorothy Gale enjoyed her higher-than-sky journey as well — and her little dog, too. But "tornado" is not one of those words — like "brouhaha" or "diphthong" — that begs an instant smile.

I myself hail from the so-called Tornado Alley that stretches across the American Midwest, and I know that funnel clouds aren't things you spin jokes about. Rather, they're to run from.