Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is donating $200 million to the Smithsonian for its Air and Space Museum. He says he can relate to the Air and Space Museum because those huge boxes that Amazon uses to mail tiny items are mostly full of air and space.
How I wrote it:
I thought I could turn this news item into a joke using my Punch Line Maker #1: Link two associations of the topic. That’s because the news item offered two topic handles, “Amazon” and “Air and Space Museum,” each of which seemed to have enough associations that I could link.
The handle “Air and Space Museum” has the association “air and space.” As I brainstormed possible connections between “air and space” and “Amazon,” the mental image of a box shipped by Amazon came to mind. I visualized opening the box and seeing one small item surrounded by lots of those air-filled packing pillows. And I had the idea for my punch line.
But before I went ahead with that punch line, I did some research online and reassured myself that I’m not the only person who thinks that Amazon often ships boxes mostly filled with air.
My Joke Maximizer #4 is “Make everything clear,” and I used it in two ways. The first way involved my punch line, which starts at “those huge boxes.” It’s fairly long. So I repeated in my angle the topic handle “Amazon” and the name of the museum. That way my audience would have those important words in their head when they heard the punch line that relies on their remembering them.
Another way I made the joke clearer was to write an angle that gives Bezos a logical reason for his donation: he relates to the museum. An angle that doesn’t spell out a specific reason, like the angle “He says he made the donation because,” wouldn’t have connected the topic as smoothly to the punch line about the air-filled boxes.