Because of salmonella outbreaks, the CDC is warning people not to “kiss or snuggle” backyard poultry like ducks and chickens. Apparently prices are getting so high that some people were doing anything to get free eggs.
How I wrote it:
This news item was so weird that it caught my attention. And if a news item catches your attention, it might make a good joke topic.
To me the news item raised the question, “Why would anyone want to ‘kiss or snuggle’ backyard poultry?” That is, I gravitated toward my Punch Line Maker #3: Ask a question about the topic.
I considered possible answers to that question. I couldn’t think of any usable answer that involved having a romantic relationship with the poultry. And an answer implying that some poultry owners are really lonely seemed too obvious.
But then it occurred to me that somebody might kiss or snuggle poultry to persuade them to do something. One of the associations of “poultry” is “lay eggs.” So I decided to write a punch line that says the poultry kissers want the poultry to give them free eggs.
In coming up with the final wording, I considered my Joke Maximizer #4, which is “Make everything clear.” And the logic of this punch line didn’t seem clear enough: “Apparently some people were doing anything to get free eggs.” Eggs are easily obtainable in stores. Why would anybody do something drastic like kissing or snuggling poultry to get them?
Then I remembered the pop culture phenomenon of inflation, and how it’s raising grocery prices. Inflation has made eggs much more expensive, which would justify more extreme measures to get them for free. So I added the idea of high prices to the angle of the joke. I thought that strengthening the logical connection between the topic and the punch line was worth the additional words.