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Humor

READY-MADE HEADLINES

Newspaper editors are smart people. They’ve been around the block a time or two and there’s very little under the sun that surprises them. Theirs is a high-paced business demanding a rapid response to events great and small, the operative 3 letters in the news business being n-e-w. With competition from the almost real-time internet news agencies, newspapers are hard pressed to stay totally current. Towards that end, they prepare and update obituaries for people who are not dead yet, keep stock photographs of anybody who is anybody and keep handy a whole bunch of headlines that experience tells them crop up again and again. They sometimes need to leave a blank space for the latest name to go with the story but the headlines themselves are already written, a valuable time saver, while some are multiple choice to cover any of several variations on common themes. Here’s a few samples of their ready-to-go headlines:

CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES RAGE OUT OF CONTROL

_______, ROCK STAR, DIES IN SMALL PLANE CRASH

_______  ANNOUNCES PLAN FOR MIDDLE EAST PEACE

CHENEY CRITICAL OF OBAMA, CITES “LACK OF TORTURE” FOR INEFFECTIVENESS ON TERROR

REPUBLICAN REFORMER CAUGHT WITH MISTRESS/ UNDERAGE BOYS/ GIRLS/ FARM ANIMALS/ PRESCRIPTION DRUG HABIT/ STOLEN MILLIONS (One or more of these answers are easily applicable, another clever way editors stay ahead of the curve.)

THE STATE OF __________’S LEGISLATURE FOUND TO BE THE MOST CORRUPT IN THE NATION

CHENEY CRITICAL OF OBAMA, CITES “LACK OF TORTURE” FOR INEFFECTIVENESS ON THE ECONOMY

YESTERDAY, OSAMA BIN LADEN RELEASED A NEW VIDEO

____________ TESTS POSITIVE FOR STEROIDS, CLAIMS IGNORANCE OVER WHAT WAS IN THAT GIGANTIC HYPODERMIC NEEDLE LABELED “HOME RUNS IN A BOTTLE”

CEO ___________ OF _________ CORPORATION AWARDS HIMSELF ENTIRE COMPANY AS A BONUS

__________, AMERICAN ICON, DEAD AT __ FROM ______

MULLAH _______ LEADS CHANTS OF “DEATH TO AMERICA”

MAYOR BLOOMBERG OF NYC SPENDS THE GNP OF A MID-SIZED NATION TO GET REELECTED

CHENEY CRITICAL OF OBAMA, CITES “LACK OF TORTURE” FOR INEFFECTIVENESS ON HEALTH CARE

DUBYA SETS RECORD FOR BRUSH CLEARING AT TEXAS BARBECUE

ACTRESS _______ CRASHES CAR INTO CUB SCOUTS, HEADS TO REHAB

CHINESE GOVERNMENT CRACKS DOWN ON ________.

LATEST OBESITY STUDY RELEASED AT 7 COURSE BANQUET

CHENEY CRITICAL OF OBAMA, CITES “LACK OF TORTURE” FOR INEFFECTIVENESS ON EDUCATION

THOUSANDS OF AFRICANS SLAUGHTERED IN TRIBAL WARFARE IN _________. U.N. VOWS “A STERN TALKING TO” AND A LENGTHY STUDY OF ROOT CAUSES.

DEATHS MOUNT, H.I.V. PLAGUE CONTINUES (Look for this one on page 55, next to the horoscopes.)

NASA CELEBRATES 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF MOON LANDING BY NOT PLANNING ANYTHING REMOTELY INTERESTING

ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL _______ RESIGNS IN DISGRACE (Seriously, does anyone think Obama’s running a boy’s choir? It’s only a matter of time.)

DUBYA TO JUDGE WET T-SHIRT CONTEST IN TEXAS

AGING INFRASTRUCTURE LEADS TO ANOTHER TRAIN WRECK/ BRIDGE COLLAPSE/ FLOOD/ BLACKOUT

SCIENTISTS CELEBRATE ANOTHER WILD GUESS AS TO WHAT THE LATEST DINOSAUR BONE FRAGMENT ATE FOR DINNER

DONALD TRUMP GOES BROKE/ MAKES ANOTHER DRAMATIC COMEBACK/ FIRES EVERYBODY/ CLAIMS NEW TROPHY WIFE

CHICAGO CUBS ELIMINATED FROM CONTENTION (This used to include the Boston Red Sox until Manny Ramirez came along and spoiled a perfectly good ready-made headline with 2 World Series wins in 4 years for Boston. Boston did, however, trade him away, so optimistic editors still haven’t discarded the Boston template they had used every year since 1918.)

CALIFORNIA MUDSLIDES EXTINGUISH WILDFIRES

U.S. BANKS, FLUSH WITH FEDERAL CASH, RESUME WIDESPREAD FRAUD AND CORRUPTION. CHENEY CITES “LACK OF TORTURE”

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