Today the House and Senate passed a deal to avoid a government shutdown. So the good news is that the government can carry on as usual. The bad news is that the government can carry on as usual.
How I wrote it:
I decided to write a joke about this topic because it was a big news story.
The topic didn’t have two obvious topic handles to link in order to create a punch line. So I turned to my Punch Line Maker #3: Ask a question about the topic. The question I asked was, “So what happens next?”
To answer that question in a surprising way, thus creating a punch line, I used an association of the topic handle “government.” The association I chose, which was unlikely to split my audience, was “dysfunctional.” That is, I decided on a punch line that states that the government will continue to function improperly.
As I worked on the exact wording of the punch line, a good form for the angle and punch line of the joke occurred to me: “So now the government can continue going about its business. But that’s a bad thing because the government isn’t functioning properly.”
And that line of thinking led me to choose the “good news/bad news” framework for my angle and punch line. To take full advantage of that framework, I used my Joke Maximizer #6: Make the punch line parallel. I did that by repeating “the government can carry on as usual” in both parts of the joke.
I chose the phrase “can carry on” instead of something like “can go on functioning” because “carry on” also suggests behaving in an angry or emotional way. And that seemed like an accurate way to describe the U.S. Congress.