Tuesday, July 15, 2008

"Could there be a better title to a news article??"

So asks my good friend H5N1 about the following headline:

Boyfriend Smacked With Toilet Seat After Being Caught Smoking Crack

I'm inclined to think there could be a better headline, but only if hookers were involved. In fact I believe the following might have been as good if they had substituted 'Hookers' for 'Prostitutes':

Daytona Prostitutes Hunting Serial Killer
Woman: 'We Will Get Him First'

But I guess we need to stick to what has actually been printed, not what should have been printed. Otherwise the top headline could have been improved to the following:

Boyfriend Smacked With Toilet Seat After Being Caught Snorting Blow Off Hooker's Ass

Okay, so this doens't match the facts of the story. But it's still a better headline. Alas.


Post Script: Think this will get me nominated for the weekly Watcher's Council Award?


Trooper York said...

You have to get the New York Post headline writers on the job. They had the most famous headline of all.

"Headless Body in Topless Bar."

Pastor_Jeff said...

If the second one doesn't show up in a movie pitch session, I will lose my faith in Hollywood.

Icepick said...

If the second one doesn't show up in a movie pitch session, I will lose my faith in Hollywood.

No need to fret, the basic idea has already been done. There is a very similar story line in Sin City, which came out before the news item. I can't say for certain that the Daytona hookers got the idea from the movie (or the comic book upon which the movie is based) but it isn't without question.

reader_iam said...

I think I've told this 100% true story before, but I unconsciously wrote a "great" headline once which, thank goodness, got caught at the last minute (and I mean, within minutes of the press run), and so I was able to change it.

Otherwise, my ass would have been grass (if not demoted, if not fired) for having, on the front page, above the fold, of a daily suburban newspaper in a relatively conservative county, run the following headline on a story about a rapper accused of sexual relations with a minor:

Fat Boy:

I still break out in a mild sweat when I think about how close a call that one was. It's funny only because, in fact, a miss really IS as good as a mile, sometimes.

Icepick said...

I believe you've alluded to that headline over at Cal's, but I don't think I've ever actually seen it. That one would have been NYPost worthy!

bill said...

"Cracker capped with crapper"

eh, maybe not. Reader, were you able to save a proof of it?

Icepick said...

I like that, Bill. That's very VERY good!

reader_iam said...

Bill: This was a pretty long time ago, and the paper hadn't converted to pagination. A new hed got stripped in, just before the plate was burned and hung, on deadline, on the press.

A composing room person kept the head for a while on "the wall of shame," though it didn't get pride of place since it didn't actually make it to press. Another one of mine did, although I really, really, really thought that one was a stretch. Even so, I was ever after careful extra careful to consider whether it was safe to use "hole" as a synonym for "gap" in order to make a hed fit the space allotted. (I was in an oldish-school paper; no downsizing point size, no cheating on point size or using sizes not in the standard, no kerning more than, I think, twice, and it was a considered a point of honor not to do that if possible. All this combined could make hed-writing a real, real bear, I kid you not. Mostly, I was pretty good at it, though--though not in the sense we're talking about here. It wasn't a tab, and this was, as I said, a long time ago, now.)

I think that when I brought it up at Cal's, he mentioned that he remembered hearing about that incident (he wasn't on nightside, at the point, I don't think; or at least he wasn't on duty, but we were colleagues at that time). This really is a true story.

reader_iam said...

Um, how many freakin' typos can I commit in a comment about editing? I'm leaving it because I think it's hilariously ironic. But I wasn't like that in those days, in that context. Actually, I'm STILL not like that, in proper context. Just one more thing that's not proper about my intarnets life and the real one ... .

vh: nukjsfs

Doesn't that seem vaguely dirty?

reader_iam said...

Hey, speaking of crappers and toilets, I just remembered one of my very earliest posts at Done With Mirrors (April 3, 2006) blogged primarily because of the post title--the blog equivalent of a hed--which immediately jumped to mind! Vanderleun actually linked the post, and because of the title. (See the comments attached to the post. He stopped by to say so.)

Here 'tis.

Is it pathetic that I just cracked myself up anew, or what?