The European Space Agency says that to make concrete on the Moon, one useful ingredient could be human urine. They’re calling the project “One giant leak for mankind.”
How I wrote it:
This was one of those news items that makes you think, “There has to be a joke in there somewhere.” The item has several topic handles, like “concrete” and “urine,” with multiple associations that might be used to create a punch line.
But it took me a few tries to find an approach that worked well. First I used my Punch Line Maker #3 and asked the question “What might you make out of concrete that smells like urine?” Maybe a lunar base that smells like a New York City subway station?
I also asked the question “And what might they make on the Moon out of human excrement?” But that didn’t get me anywhere either.
Then I moved away from “concrete” and focused on the topic handles “Moon” and “urine.” I thought I might link the two by changing the well-known tagline for the movie “Alien” into something like, “In space, no one can smell your urine.”
Thinking of taglines associated with space must have reminded me of Neil Armstrong’s famous words as he first set foot on the Moon, which ended “One giant leap for mankind.” And I realized I could use wordplay, and my Punch Line Maker #1, to link that quotation to an association of “urine”–“leak”–and create my punch line.
So keep trying possible topic handles and Punch Line Makers until you find a combination that unlocks a solid punch line.