Dollar Tree is recalling more than a million hot glue guns because they can malfunction. And some people are pretty angry about it. In fact, Martha Stewart said, “You can have my hot glue gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands that I’ve hot-glued it to.”
How I wrote it:
As soon as I read this news item I associated the topic handle “hot glue guns” with crafting enthusiast Martha Stewart. That is, I decided I could use my Punch Line Maker #2: Link the topic to pop culture.
Exaggerating for comic effect (as per my Joke Maximizer #8), I thought that she’d be really angry if a company tried to take away her beloved hot glue gun. And I guessed that I could write a funny punch line in which she expressed that anger.
Then I associated “guns” in “hot glue guns” with the familiar NRA slogan about gun enthusiasts having their guns taken away. So to create my punch line I just substituted “hot glue gun” in the slogan for “gun.”
But having Stewart say only “You can have my hot glue gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands” didn’t feel like quite enough to me. Maybe that’s because the slogan is so long and familiar that I thought the audience would be able to predict it based on its first few words. That is, the long punch line itself would violate my Joke Maximizer #5: Don’t telegraph the punch line.
To solve that problem, I ended the punch line with a final surprise by adding the part about hot-gluing the hot glue gun to her hands.
Finally I added the angle “And some people are pretty angry about it.” That way the audience would be in the proper mindset to quickly understand the meaning of Stewart’s quote, and of the punch line.