While in college I had the opportunity to take a journalism course under the teaching of Billy Watson, then-editor of the Macon Telegraph. Being a morning person, the 7:00am class time didn't bother me. Neither did the fact that Billy (he made us call him by his first name), who had just come fresh from publishing that day's Telegraph, always seemed to find something to point out in other newspapers' editions that, well, just wasn't right. He showed us a book called All The News Not Fit To Print, a compilation of mis-written headlines and articles from newspapers all over the world. He also taught us how to properly write headlines for everything from world disasters to obituaries. I loved it.
I got an email from my friend George this morning that reminded me of that class, and Billy Watson, who would surely cringe at these authentic headlines. Which aren't. And I can't help but comment, because sarcasm is a blessing. And a curse.
SOMETHING WENT WRONG IN JET CRASH, EXPERT SAYS--written by Captain Obvious.
POLICE BEGIN CAMPAIGN TO RUN DOWN JAYWALKERS--probably in Anytown, Florida.
PANDA MATING FAILS; VETERINARIAN TAKES OVER--this vet's a real man. Pandas aren't known for their gentle nature.
MINERS REFUSE TO WORK AFTER DEATH--must be a union thing.
JUVENILE COURT TO TRY SHOOTING DEFENDANT--apparently jail time wasn't enough.
WAR DIMS HOPE FOR PEACE--statement from Captain Obvious' brother, Colonel Oblivious.
IF STRIKE ISN'T SETTLED QUICKLY, IT COULD LAST A WHILE--you think?
COLD WAVE LINKED TO TEMPERATURES--where's global warming when you need it?
RED TAPE HOLDS UP NEW BRIDGES--apparently the DOT ran out of cement.
MAN STRUCK BY LIGHTNING, FACES BATTERY CHARGE--he just keeps on going, and going, and...
NEW STUDY OF OBESITY LOOKS FOR LARGER GROUP--try a Baptist Church Homecoming.
ASTRONAUT TAKES BLAME FOR GAS IN SPACECRAFT--that's what you get when you replace Tang with Taco Bell.
KIDS MAKE NUTRITIOUS SNACKS--but you really need gravy for the full effect.
LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUTS CUT IN HALF--Shop class stayed busy that day.
HOSPITAL SUED BY SEVEN FOOT DOCTORS--if they were that tall I'd give 'em what they wanted.
TYPHOON RIPS THROUGH CEMETERY, HUNDREDS DEAD--people were dying to get in there anyway.
I'm sure if you look closely, you can find headlines like these every day. The amazing thing is they have to make it past proofreaders to get published. The sad thing is they make it past proofreaders to get published.