Monday, November 22, 2004

A well-spent day at work. You must understand that in the course of my job I read and write about some very weighty matters of national and international import. Like abortion, Ariel Sharon's bizarre new dovishness, the disintegration of the Carr government, the rise of Family First, and Arnold Schwarzenegger's legislative performance in his first year as governator. So I have to balance this with a little bit of levity. Last week I emailed one of my ex-colleagues updating her on what was going on:
It was just the usual stuff. Me and Ben in stitches over a sports brief headline about Pat Rafter dissing Mark Philippoussis: "Pat's Poo Spray". You know. Us updating Jane about Tara Reid's wardrobe malfunction and bad boob job. Me saying "Would you call your child Gilbert? What about Sullivan?"

As I left the office today, I was musing on how much I laughed today. As I was about to leave, Sophie V found a picture of a zombie from Dawn of the Dead ... I mean, Ukrainian presidential challenger Viktor Yushchenko. Oh man, I laughed a lot. Here is another picture of him, showing off the delightful porridge-like texture of his skin.

But by far the highlight of my day was our debate over an appropriate headline for a story on cock-fighting, which has now been outlawed in all but two US states, and aficionados in both states are lobbying to keep it legal. As you can tell from my "poo spray" anecdote, it's somewhat of a sport at my work to come up with ridiculous pun headlines. I'll never forget the day we spent at least half an hour brainstorming a headline for a story about Vladimir Putin. I am still holding out for him to visit London so that I can write a story headlined "Putin on the Ritz".

Anyway, here's the original email exchange from today's cock-fighting story. Names have been omitted to protect the guilty...
From: A
Sent: Monday, 22 November 2004 4:54 PM

Mmm. Just realised my heading was lame.

How’s: Cockheads fight for sport (bad)
Cock it to them (worse)
Cock-a-doodle-who? (terrible)
Cock tease (I’ll stop)

From: B
Sent: Monday, 22 November 2004 5:13 PM

I also like Protestors Rock the Cock (…fighting world)


Cock Up in Oklahoma


Lock Stock and Cock (fighting) – I know it makes no sense but it has a certain rhythm to it don’t you think?

I’d also like to make up some of our own scenarios to suit our headline writing needs, Mel-style:

Head of Cock (fighting) Rocked by Ban

Annual Cock* Ball cancelled

Cock and Balls Found in Abandoned Warehouse
ie A rooster was found abandoned in a lone warehouse on Friday, along with a large crate of basketballs.

When I read this last one, I was so enthused by the idea that I said excitedly, "How cool would it be to do that? You'd leave them in the warehouse and then do a prank call like Homer Simpson: 'Hello, Herald Sun? I think you should get down to this warehouse immediately.'"
Then I paused and said thoughtfully, "If only I could get my hands on a cock."

But the saga wasn't over...
From: A
Sent: Monday, 22 November 2004 5:20 PM

Genius. How can I compare?

Cock the Kaspar (dubious)
A Cock and Bull Story i.e A deadly showdown between a lethal killing cock machine and a heftybovine with horns. (very derivative)
Law is half-cocked
The coquetry of a small bird
Cocks come home to roost(er)
Stop that Cock Robin the bank
Ride a cock horse
Before the Cock Crows, Thou Shall Betray Me Three Times (In reference to a fierce pre-dawn cockfighting ring riddled with personal tensions and backstabbing, set in Jerusalem circa 33AD.)

And then C decided to weigh in, with hilarious results...
From: C
Sent: Monday, 22 November 2004 5:24 PM

Authorities Get Hard on Cocks
Cock-Up Steals the Show
Balls-Up Ruins Cock Show
Cock Ring Broken - simple...yet GENIUS you'll all agree

And then D decided to have a go...
Authorities soft on cock (fighting)
Cocks go head to head in ring.

But C wasn't finished yet...
From: C
Sent: Monday, 22 November 2004 5:31 PM

To elaborate on D's soft-cock theme:

Soft Cocks Thrown Out of Ring

I really think that's all I've got.

From: C
Sent: Monday, 22 November 2004 5:34 PM

Cock Sting Hits Members Hard

From: C
Sent: Monday, 22 November 2004 5:36 PM

How did we miss this?

Members Ejected From Cock Ring

From: B
Sent: Monday, 22 November 2004 5:39 PM

The possibilities are endless

Old Fellow Gripped in Cock Ring Bust

By this stage we were all destroying ourselves with laughter.
From: Mel
Sent: Monday, 22 November 2004 5:41 PM

I believe the man in question was called John Thomas?

Yes. Just another day at the office, really.

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