A man pulled out a gun at a Popeyes restaurant when he heard they had no more chicken sandwiches. He also objected to any new laws on bun control.
How I wrote it:
This news item caught my eye because it was weird, so I thought a joke about it might engage an audience.
Possible handles in the topic include “gun,” “Popeyes,” and “chicken sandwiches.” The most unexpected element in the topic is “gun,” so I decided that that had to be one of the handles.
I briefly considered using “Popeyes” as the second handle but concluded that associations like “spinach,” “Bluto,” and “Olive Oyl” would be too unfamiliar to most people.
So my two handles became “gun” and “chicken sandwiches.” The latter has the association “bun,” which rhymes with “gun,” so I realized I could probably construct a punch line using Punch Line Maker #4: Find a play on words in the topic.
“Gun” has the association “gun control,” so I just substituted “bun” into that phrase to make the necessary wordplay link and create the laugh trigger.
To complete the joke, I needed an angle to smoothly guide the audience from the topic sentence to “bun control.”
The angle “He also objected to any new laws on” works because anyone who pulls a gun because of a chicken sandwich shortage would probably also have strong feelings about restrictions on chicken sandwich components. This angle is an example of applying Joke Maximizer #4: Make everything clear.