Amazon founder Jeff Bezos arrived safely back on earth in his space capsule this morning. And an email from Amazon said the other three passengers will arrive later in a separate shipment at no additional charge.
How I wrote it:
I chose this news item to base a joke on because it was a big story. It also seemed to offer enough associations for me to use in my Punch Line Maker #1: Link two associations of the topic.
A typical version of the news item began like this: “Riding his own rocket, Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos streaked into space Tuesday on a thrilling 10-minute up-and-down flight.” That version has a lot of possible topic handles, but I had to choose only two of them to use in creating a punch line.
“Amazon” seemed like a promising choice for a handle because it has a lot of potentially useful associations. To help decide on a second handle, I thought of what associations of Amazon I had already used to create other jokes; I didn’t want to repeat myself.
I realized I hadn’t yet written a joke referring to how Amazon sometimes makes partial shipments. Delivering items in a shipment seemed similar to delivering passengers in a space capsule, so I decided my punch line would blend those two concepts.
I relied on my memory of past Amazon emails to come up with the detailed wording “will arrive later in a separate shipment at no additional charge.” I needed that detailed wording to make it completely clear that the punch line refers to an Amazon partial shipment.
Finally, I edited the topic to focus on only those elements of the news story that I needed for my punch line: “Amazon,” plus the concept of a container arriving that contains only one item.