An Australian woman found a gold ring in a package of green beans. “I thought he’d never ask,” said the woman, the future Mrs. Jolly Green Giant.
How I wrote it:
This is the first line of the story I saw on the UPI website: “A gold ring found in a package of beans was returned to its grocery store worker owner after taking a journey of nearly 125 miles.”
I thought I could turn this “Odd News” story into a joke because it has some obvious handles, maybe too many. To keep the joke short and clear, I edited the topic down to what you see.
One handle seemed to be “gold ring.” But what got my attention even more was the idea of finding a gold ring in an unexpected place. And I associated that idea with stories I had read of men proposing to women with rings hidden in food items, glasses of champagne, and so on.
But who would propose by hiding a ring in a package of green beans? The answer I chose is an association of “package of green beans,” namely the mascot of the Green Giant vegetable company. So the Jolly Green Giant became the basis of my punch line.
But adding something like this to the topic would have resulted in a joke that was too on-the-nose: “Apparently she had just been proposed to by the Jolly Green Giant.”
To make the joke less direct and more surprising, I conveyed the information that somebody had asked her an important question using the subtler line “I thought he’d never ask.”
And I supplied the remaining key information–what the question had been and who had asked it‑‑with the economical phrase “the future Mrs. Jolly Green Giant.”