Today the Bridgestone tire company said it will offer its employees $100 to get a Covid vaccine shot. Apparently some employees are worried that the puncture might give them a flat arm.
How I wrote it:
I focused on this news item because both topic handles–“tire” and “vaccine”–seemed to have useful associations for joke writing.
But one of the first things I did was to reword the topic sentence to include the word “shot.” That’s because I was aiming to use my Punch Line Maker #1–Link two associations of the topic. And I thought I could link “tire” more easily with “shot” than with “vaccine,” because a shot requires a needle that can puncture a tire.
My first attempt at writing a punch line based on the idea of a shot puncturing ones arm arose from the hypothetical question “What else did the tire company offer its employees?”
That led to a punch line something like “They’re also offering a free rubber patch in case the puncture makes your arm leak.” But that seemed too long and complicated.
To simplify it, I dropped the idea of a patch and asked myself the question, “Why would you have to patch a puncture in a tire?” The answer, “because otherwise you’d get a flat tire,” gave me a simpler way to link “tire” and “shot”: a punch line ending on “flat arm.”
Finally I added an angle that logically ties the topic to that punch line by leading the audience to expect an explanation of why the company has to pay its employees to get the vaccine; the punch line provides the (silly) explanation.