Today a panel of experts changed its recommendation and said that now most adults should not take daily aspirin to prevent a heart attack. But they said that most adults should take daily aspirin to prevent headaches from listening to experts always changing their recommendations.
How I wrote it:
This news item caught my eye as a possible topic because the idea of taking aspirin seemed to have associations that could lead to a joke.
I turned first to my Punch Line Maker #3: Ask a question about the topic. That’s because the news item invited the question, “Okay, then why should most adults take daily aspirin?”
To answer that question, and thus create a punch line, I tried to think of something in pop culture that would give people headaches.
That line of thinking led me back to the news item itself, specifically the part about the experts changing their recommendations. Experts seem to do that a lot lately, don’t they? And wouldn’t most people agree that all that aggravating recommendation-changing could cause a headache? I decided that most people would agree. So I created a punch line based on that association between recommendation-changing and headaches.
Once I had the idea for the punch line, I used my Joke Maximizer #6: Make the punch line parallel. I did that by repeating this phrase from the topic almost word-for-word in the punch line: “said that now most adults should not take daily aspirin to prevent.” I also copied as closely as possible the key phrase in the topic “experts changed its recommendation.”
And I used my Joke Maximizer #1–Shorten as much as possible–on the topic sentence. I simplified “daily low-dose aspirin” in the news item to “daily aspirin” and “to prevent first heart attacks or strokes” to “to prevent a heart attack.” The edited topic is still true, which is important, but has been reduced to its essential elements.