Today supermodel Bar Refaeli was convicted of evading taxes. In her defense, she didn’t actually evade the taxes; she strutted up to the taxes, struck a pose, then sashayed away from the taxes.
How I wrote it:
This news item caught my eye because “supermodel” and “taxes” each have enough associations that I thought I could probably find a surprising way to link a couple to create a punch line.
But as I thought more about the topic I focused on a third possible handle, “evading.” The active nature of that word prompted me to consider using my Punch Line Maker #5: Visualize the topic.
To do that, I formed a mental picture of the model actually walking around some taxes to evade them. Then I exaggerated that mental picture so the model was in a runway fashion show, with the taxes at the far end of the catwalk. Describing that mental picture in detail resulted in my punch line.
In my rough draft I had included a fourth action, “spun around,” after “struck a pose.” But I edited it out for my final draft because my Joke Maximizer #10 advises “Use the Rule of Three.”
The original news items all included references to either “Israel” or “Israeli,” but I left those out because they weren’t important to the joke and my Joke Maximizer #1 is “Shorten as much as possible.”
Most of the original news items also referred to “tax evasion,” but I changed that phrase to “evading taxes” to make the action more visual.
My Joke Maximizer #7 is “Use stop consonants, alliteration, and assonance,” so I was pleased that “strutted,” “struck,” and “sashayed” all begin with “s.”