Headlines ‘collected’ over the years

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While spurring the horse toward sunset and retirement, I’ve kept headlines that friends and publisher pals have sent me over the 38 years. Late night funnymen Jay Leno and David Letterman had comic routines about headlines that went awry.

Many years and pounds ago, I worked as a headline writer and copy editor. Back then, before computers, headline counts had to be precise and there was always pressure from the managing editor who had one speed: grumpy. Headlines since then have always held a good spot in the psyche, particularly the clever ones, headlines with multiple meanings or headlines that were misused. Or, the ones with out-and-out typos that were humorous. (For example, once during some localized flooding in western Idaho/eastern Oregon along the Snake River, one of the copy editors misused the term “dike” to explain water management.) Some of the newspapers that published these “gems” had my name on the masthead.

Other favorites include:

• ‘Headless Body in Topless Bar’

— New York Post, 1983


• ‘Close, But No Cigar’

— New York Post, about story how the Senate failed to convict President Bill Clinton in the Monica Lewinsky imbroglio, 1999


• ‘Obama Beats Weiner’

— New York Post, on a story regarding President Obama and how he got Rep. Anthony Weiner to resign.


• ‘You Can Put Pickles Up Yourself’

— The Washington Post, 1994, over a story about home canning of fruits and vegetables in the newspaper’s Style section.


• ‘Any Way You Measure It, Sabres’ Peca is Big’

— Boston Globe, regarding a story about Michael Peca, the team’s center.


• ‘Mega Mall Has Put Its Lien Times Behind It’

— Syracuse (New York) Post-Standard


• ‘Girls Will Get Shot at Throne’

— Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune; a story about a local scholarship pageant


• ‘Sex Trial Ends with Hung Jury’

— Montrose (Colorado) Daily Press, 2010


• ‘Passersby Help Burn Victim’

— Montrose (Colorado) Daily Press, 2003


• ‘Local Couple Honeymoons at Cancum, Mexico’

— Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, Herald


• ‘Kurdish Refugees Choke Turdish Camp’

— San Diego Union Tribune


• ‘Amphibious Pitcher Makes Debut’

— East Oregonian, Pendleton, Oregon, regarding a story about Pat Venditte, an Oakland A’s pitcher, who can throw both right handed, left handed. (And apparently from under water), 2015


• ‘So Much Timtation’

— New York Daily News, about the signing of Tim Tebow as the Jets backup quarterback


• ‘Yuma Woman Gives Birth at Port of Entry’

— Yuma (AZ) Daily Sun

(To live there, you’ve got to have a sense of Yuma.)


• ‘Homocide in Tillamook’

— Tillamook (Oregon) Headlight Herald, about a story regarding a local murder, 2017

• ‘Seek God’s Help to Straighten out Fiances’ 

— Syracuse (New York) Post-Standard


• ‘Dog Shoots Man’

— The Sheridan Press, 2014, above a story about a dog jumping into the front seat of a pickup truck and accidentally striking a loaded handgun and causing it to fire


By |Oct. 17, 2017|

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