A new study says that the moon is 85 million years younger than previous estimates. In fact, scientists say the moon is so young that Ghislaine Maxwell introduced it to Jeffrey Epstein.
How I wrote it:
I focused on this news item for joke writing because both topic handles, “moon” and “younger,” seemed to have many associations that might be linked to create a punch line.
The general idea of something being younger than expected led me to consider my Punch Line Maker #2: Link the topic to pop culture. What people currently in the news were younger than they should have been? The girls who Ghislaine Maxwell recruited–okay, allegedly recruited– for Jeffrey Epstein. So I created my punch line by substituting the moon mentioned in the topic for one of those girls.
Before I posted this joke, I thought about whether some outraged readers might protest, “Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficked underage girls. How could you possibly joke about that?” I’ll tell you how.
One basic technique for writing jokes that deal with a potentially disturbing topic is to steer clear of the most disturbing aspects of the topic. In the case of this joke, I did that in two ways.
First, I included “the moon is so young” in my angle, to be sure that the image in the audience’s mind when they read the punch line is of an enormous, round rock being offered up to Epstein and not an underage girl.
Second, I only refer to Maxwell introducing the moon to Epstein. I don’t call to mind any of the repellent details of what happened after that, like the sexual abuse.