Two California residents filed a lawsuit claiming that there is no tuna in Subway’s tuna sandwiches. If they win, they’ll get $10 million plus, for an extra $2.60, a Diet Coke and a bag of potato chips.
How I wrote it:
This news item caught my attention because I thought a mass audience could relate to it; I know I could. Plus “Subway” has associations that I thought I could use to create a punch line. So “Subway” became my first topic handle.
But my Punch Line Maker #1–Link two associations of the topic–requires that you pick two handles of the topic. “Tuna” seemed promising as a second handle, but in connection with “Subway” it didn’t seem as interesting as “lawsuit.” So I tried “lawsuit” for the second handle.
I brainstormed associations of “Subway” and landed on “Meal Deal,” which has the association “money.” “Lawsuit” also has the association “money.” So I decided to base my punch line on those two Californians getting the Meal Deal.
But I faced a structural problem: the Meal Deal involves getting something from Subway, whereas the lawsuit involves not getting some something from Subway, namely tuna.
I solved the problem by writing an angle about what the Californians will get if they win, which let me smoothly connect to my punch line about getting the Meal Deal.
I went online to confirm what the Meal Deal includes and how much it costs. Instead of writing “a soft drink and a side,” I used my Joke Maximizer #9–Get specific–and listed specific menu items.
When I named those menu items I also employed my Joke Maximizer #7–Use stop consonants, alliteration, and assonance. “A Diet Coke and a bag of potato chips” includes a whopping eleven stop consonants.