Today the House voted to grant statehood to Washington DC. They also picked a Washington DC state bird. It has a blue left wing, a red right wing, and it just flies around in circles.
How I wrote it:
I gravitated to this news item because the handle “Washington DC” promised me the opportunity to make fun of politicians, which I and many others enjoy. Plus the other handle, “statehood,” has lots of associations that can be used to write punch lines.
For my first attempt I used my Punch Line Maker #3, asking the question, “What would be the state bird of Washington DC?”
To answer that question, I brainstormed names of birds that I could link to an association of Washington DC like “do-nothing politicians” or “crooked windbags.”
To help myself brainstorm, I did what I often do in these situations and consulted lists online, in this case lists of birds. But other than hacky jokes like “yellow-bellied booby,” I couldn’t come up with any names I could use to link birds and politicians.
So next I tried to think of names of state flowers that I could link to some mocking association of politicians, or the name of a state food. But I had no luck.
Finally I considered other characteristics of a bird that I could link to politicians. I had the elements of my punch line once I realized that birds and politicians could be linked via the associations “wings,” “red and blue,” and “go around in circles.”
My punch line has three elements because I employed my Joke Maximizer #10–Use the Rule of Three.