Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The best of Punlovers. In a sentimental mood yesterday, Jane and Sophie let my final appalling pun headline go through. It was about the recent Lebanese elections, in which voters overwhelmingly endorsed the anti-Syria opposition. My headline was "Lebanon Says: Syria Later!" Now I am getting all nostalgic for the shonky headlines I attempted (and usually failed) to get through at work. A while ago, I used to send my friends a weekly email bulletin of that week's pun headlines. It ended up running to 19 editions before I got bored of it. Oh, the rich irony that The Reader will now be a weekly email bulletin.

I thought that I might reproduce a few of them here as an occasional series, arranged thematically. Some themes I can already think of are "Those Crazy Russians", "Sexual Punning", "Political Puns" and "Kriminal Kapers". But first in Punlovers Redux, the cream of my dubious crop, the Puns of the Week.

(3 February 2004)
A man has sex with his relative's sleeping wife...
Mel's Headline: "Sleeping Booty"

(19 February)
Our lives are increasingly mediated by screen technologies...
Mel's Headline: "Makes You Want to Screen" (and I think that one does!!!)

(26 February)
Shoddy Russian buildings fall down...
Mel's Headline: "The Big Collapski" (I can't believe that got through!)

(4 March)
South Australian parliamentarians have passed a bill banning the eating of cats and dogs after the Attorney-General alleged that a cat had been put on a public BBQ in his electorate...
Mel's 1st Headline: "Cat on a Hot Tin Grill"
Mel's Final Headline: "Gourmiaow"

(11 March)
Desperate Islamic militant groups are trying to win support among the Sunni majority by attacking Shiite Muslims...
Mel's Headline: "Islamic Militants Get the Shiites"

(22 March)
Australia has bought 59 US-made tanks for the army, even though others were almost half the price...
Mel's Headline: "Tanks for Helping the US"

(24 March)
Things are mysteriously bursting into flames in Sicily...
Mel's Headline: "Combustissimo" (trying for more of the "Big Collapski" magic!!)

(8 April)
Can a 33-year-old financial consultant perpetuate India's greatest political dynasty?
Mel's Headline (rejected): "The Gandhi Man Can"
Final Headline: "The 'Generation Next' Gandhi"

(22 April)
Now, here usually I would have Pun of the Week, but this week it's not actually a pun. Instead, after toying with puns about tabouli and falafel, I actually ran out of inspiration for a story about the new leader of Palestinian terrorist organisation Hamas, who was blown up by an Israeli helicopter strike shortly after his predecessor was also assassinated. And they actually ran with my 'stand-in' headline!!!
Mel's Headline: "He Didn't Even Last A Month"

(28 April)
California's porn-movie industry is in a state of terror after one of its veteran stars tests HIV-positive...
Mel's Headline: "Scared Stiff"

(6 May - joint winners)
Islamic province Zanzibar has banned homosexuality...
Mel's Headline: "Pansy Bar"

French prisoners have submitted recipes for a new cookbook of gourmet prison fare...
Mel's Headline: "The Nicked Chef"

(13 May)
Encouraging schoolchildren to experiment with oral sex may help curb teen pregnancy...
Mel's Headline: "School Sucks"
(We were torn between this and "School Blows")

(27 May)
The Plain English Foundation was launched at the Sydney Writers' Festibal to rectify "diseased English"...
Mel's Headline (rejected): "Fully Sick Language"
Final Headline: "Move to Communicate Better"

(3 June)
An AFL player tells the media about his battle with clinical depression...
Mel's Headline: "Depress Conference"

(17 June - joint winners)
Shane Warne won't need surgery on his broken left hand...
Mel's Headline: "No Hand Job for Warne"

Germany was finally invited to the D-Day anniversary celebrations so Schröder and Chirac could flaunt their new alliance in the faces of Blair and Bush...
Mel's Headline: "They'll Always Have Paris"

(24 June)
Latham plans to ban fast food advertising on children's TV. This wins because of the intro that actually got past Eric: "Latham and Howard play politics with our nation of lardy infants"...
Mel's Headline: "Bunfight"
Eric's Addition: "Bunfight Over Children's TV"

(8 July)
Does Channel 7's new plan to sponsor Senate candidates reinvigorate democracy or undermine it?
Mel's Headline: "Realitypolitik"

This wins because it was rejected some months ago for another story. If at first you don't get your headlines through, try try again...

(11 August)
Disney has developed a kids' computer (it really has to be seen to be believed)...
Mel's Headline: "First the Mouse, Now the PC"

(3 September)
The RAAF is going to buy long-range stealth cruise missiles...
Mel's Headline (rejected): "Top Guns Get Cruise"
Final Headline: "Defence Force Buys Long Range Cruise Missiles"

Maoist rebels blockade Kathmandu...
Mel's Headline (rejected): "Apocalypse Mao"
Final Headline: "Rebels Blockade City"

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