The Iowa State Fair is offering fairgoers free Covid-19 vaccinations. State health officials are concerned about the delta variant, the lambda variant, and because it’s a state fair, a deep-fried variant.
How I wrote it:
I thought I could get a good joke out of this news story because the topic handles–“state fair” and “Covid-19 vaccinations”–seemed to have plenty of useful associations.
The original headline that I saw referred to “Midwest state fairs.” But given current events, I thought my audience might briefly think that that headline was about affairs of state in the Middle East. So, for clarity, I rewrote the topic to refer to just one specific state fair.
Then I used my Punch Line Maker #1: Link two associations of the topic. The topic handle “state fair” is associated with, among other things, unusual deep-fried foods like deep-fried Oreos and deep-fried pickles.
The other topic handle, “Covid-19 vaccinations,” is associated with the Covid-19 variants.
To link those associations, I created a punch line with the laugh trigger “deep-fried variant.”
Because the Covid-19 delta and lambda variants are pretty well-known, I decided to make my punch line a list, exploiting my Joke Maximizer #10: Use the Rule of Three.
But the list made my angle and punch line fairly long, putting a lot of distance between “state fair” in the topic and “deep-fried variant” at the end of the joke.
To make sure the audience wouldn’t forget the words “state fair” by the time they heard the laugh trigger that depended on them, I inserted “because it’s a state fair” right before the laugh trigger. And in what might have been an overabundance of caution, I also used “fairgoers” instead of a word like “visitors” in the topic, and added the word “state” to “health officials.” I take my Joke Maximizer #4 seriously; it advises, “Make everything clear.”