Headline writing is a tough job, what with deadline pressure and trying to compress a complicated story into a few words that might stir a reader’s attention. Well-rounded phrases get shunted into square holes, and participles dangle perilously. The headlines below raise more questions than they answer, and those questions are penetratingly asked here.
CELEBRITIES—No one generates more headlines than America’s beloved celebrities. Or Swaziland’s
Johnny Depp Regrets Rape Mistake…aol, 10/5/11
Wonder who he meant to rape?
I Want to be Frozen, Larry King Says…cnn.com, 12/2/11
Is now good for you, Larry? Because now works for me.
Nicolas Cage Awoken By Naked Man with Fudgesicle…Yahoo, 9/14/11
Where would you stick a fudgesicle to wake someone up? Nicolas Cage may enjoy it, but just tap me on the shoulder, okay?
Swazi King Accuses 12th Wife of Adultery… cnn.com, 11/26/11
You'd think after the first eleven cheated on him, he'd have stayed single.
POLITICIANS—They crave headlines. Sometimes they don’t always get the kind of headlines they crave.
Ann Romney Would Like Voters to Know That Her Husband Isn't As Stiff As He Appears…Huffpo, 11/12/11
Imaginary Farm Dust Banned by House…Huffpo, 12/10/11
If you imagine it, they will come. And ban it.
THE COPS—The brave yet inscrutable men and women who protect us from crime are always in the news.
Jail for Man Who Attacked Police with Toy Light Sabers…Yahoo, 1/31/12
Whoever these cops are, they need to start carrying guns
Cop Shoots Himself During Chase…aol, 2/27/12
This particular cop needs to go back on toy light-saber duty.
San Diego Cops Find Nothing In 2-Hour Standoff With Empty Car… huffpo, 2/15/2012
Nothing but existential angst, that is.
Cops Find Crack in Suspect's Butt…aol.com, 2/17/212
They start with the basics in detective school. Oh yeah, they do.
NAKED PEOPLE—Usually, they just mind their own naked business, but when they make news, grab a fudgesicle and enjoy.
Naked Man Leads Police to Crime… aol, 4/25/12
They were following the crack in his butt.
Naked Rowers Break Atlantic Record… cnn.com, 2/16/2012
Other naked records expected to fall as well.
Naked Man Steals Socks From Walmart In Pennsylvania… aol, 2/17/2012
Tried to row away.
ORDINARY JOES AND JANES—Getting their fifteen minutes of fame in new and ingenious ways all the time.
Man in Stable Condition After $44 Million Hospital Bill…Yahoo, 1/16/2012
For that kind of money, it's the least you'd expect.
Va. Couple Accidentally Shot at Gun Safety Class...aol, 4/12/12
Guns don’t kill people…gun safety classes kill people.
Man Allegedly Shot by Mother-in-Law: “It Still Bothers Me.”
Wussy whining wuss-bag.
Collector Kept Braun's Urine in Fridge For 44 Hours…aol, 2/25/12
Urine collecting…America’s fastest growing hobby.
Woman Claims McDonald's Turned Her Into a Prostitute…aol, 3/28/12
Those who really knew Mayor McCheese aren't shocked.
My personal favorite? Right here.
Man Dies Trying to Set Record for Being Buried Alive…aol, 3/5/12
Doubly sad, because the record for being buried dead is thought to be out of reach.