Actress Honor Blackman, who played Bond girl Pussy Galore, passed away. Memorial donations may be made to the American Cooter Society.
How I wrote it:
I wanted to turn this news item into a joke because the single entendre “Pussy Galore” was just begging to be mocked.
The other topic handle, “passed away,” has the association “obituary,” which has the sub-association “memorial donations may be made to.” To connect that sub-association to “Pussy,” I needed the name of a charity that I could link to some synonym for female genitalia.
I didn’t want to get too vulgar; “Pussy” was vulgar enough. But I remembered reading that Tina Fey favors the word “cooter.”
To confirm that, I did some research and discovered that Tina used the word to name an episode she wrote for her series “30 Rock.” And in an interview quoted in Wikipedia she explained that she likes the word because “it’s one of the least graphic ways to describe the female genitals.” If the word “cooter” was good enough for Tina Fey, it was good enough for me.
Brainstorming charities turned up the American Cancer Society. The wordplay between “cooter” and “cancer” was strong enough that I was able to substitute one for the other to create my punch line.
Besides not being too graphic, “cooter” has another characteristic Tina didn’t mention that makes it funny: its two stop consonants, “c” and “t.” As my Joke Maximizer #7 advises: “Use stop consonants, alliteration, and assonance.”
For more on using stop consonants, read my article “How Jerry Seinfeld Writes a Joke, Revealed.”