Bug hunters in Washington state found the first ever Asian giant “murder hornets” nest in the U.S. They said the nest used to have bees living in it. It was an Air-bee-n-bee.
How I wrote it:
This news item caught my eye because “murder hornets” just sound weird.
To create the joke I started with my Punch Line Maker #1: Link two associations of the topic. The two most obvious topic handles were “murder” and “hornets.” And as I thought about hornets, the association “bees” occurred to me.
But instead of somehow linking “bees” with “murder,” my mind went to another possible handle, “nest.” That’s because “Airbnb” popped into my head, thanks to some wordplay with “bee.” And “Airbnb” is linked to “nest” through the association “place to live.” So I ended up basing a punch line on different topic handles than I started with.
My Joke Maximizer #4 is “Make everything clear.” So I needed an angle that would ensure that the audience got my potentially confusing punch line.
My angle does that in two ways. First, it includes the word “bees,” so when the audience hears the punch line “Airbnb” the double meaning of “bee” is obvious.
And second, my angle says that other insects lived in the nest previously. This plants the idea of temporary housing in the audience’s minds, getting them ready to hear “Airbnb.”
I wrote “Air-bee-n-bee” for the text version of the punch line because I think someone who read “Airbnb” would have immediately thought that the nest was in somebody’s horrible insect-infested apartment and not gotten the joke.