In an effort to be a helpful pal, I have put together this handy Short
List how-to. Cut it out and keep it in your wallet if you like. Itâs
really pretty simple:
Step One: Look around your immediate seating area for something funny
to create a Short List item about. Do you have access to a computer?
Good. I recommend trolling the news sites (CNN, TBO, St. Pete Times,
Google News, Drudge, etc.) for an interesting story. You know,
something that hits your gut as funny. How inappropriate is too
inappropriate? You make the call. As an example, hereâs one I found
about air traffic control problems at Chicagoâs OâHare International
Airport. Yes, I have an interesting sense of humor.
Step Two: Come up with a catchy setup headline for your Short List
item. Something strong, clear and concise. For this near-miss story, I
FAA probes third near-collision at Chicagoâs OâHare Airport this week
Simple, tells the story. Oh sure, CNN spun its wheels for paragraph
after paragraph of useless drivel, but thatâs all you need. Three near
misses in a week. What the hell is up with that?
Step Three: Come up with a punch line. I know that many readers are not
joke inclined, but surely everyone can come up with a punch line. Itâs
In my way of thinking, air travel is hopelessly linked to terrorism.
The connection is inescapable. This story isnât about terrorism, but
itâs troubling because it seems to suggest that if the shoe bombers
donât get you, good old-fashioned incompetence in the airline industry
will. So, you could go with something like:
Great, one more thing to worry about while on the tarmac.
Did someone outsource air traffic control to Dubai?
Step Four: take your newly created punch line, couple it with your
catchy (and in all caps to give it oomph) headline, and viola, you got
yourself a Short List item:
FAA PROBES THIRD NEAR-COLLISION AT CHICAGOâS OâHARE AIRPORT THIS WEEK
With Air Traffic controllers like this, who needs Al-Qaida?
And there you have it. Now you try. Outdo me in the comments section.
I dare you.