Coke and a Smile

I can tell you from dolorous personal experience how difficult it can be, once you have confected a snappy little essay, blog post, or other other coruscating gem of tightly condensed prose, to come up with an apt and witty title; often it’s the hardest part of the job. So I have long admired the editors of the city’s tabloid newspapers, who are perhaps the greatest masters of this recondite art. The New York Post (one of the nation’s oldest papers, by the way, having been founded by Alexander Hamilton in 1801) leads the pack; examples include announcing the sportscaster Marv Albert’s firing for being a cross-dresser with the headline Marv Gets Pink Slip, and long-ago classics like Headless Body In Topless Bar. I remember that when the barely human Mike Tyson snacked on a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear during a title fight the Post brought the matter to our attention with Chump Chomps Champ.

I doff my hat to them again today. Irascible rocker Keith Richards made news recently by announcing that upon the death of his father a while back, he honored his dad’s memory in the only appropriate way: by snorting an admixture of cocaine and the old man’s ashes. Such a story being of vastly greater significance to the Post’s readers than such far-off topics as war and other global calamities, the paper naturally featured the story of Richards’ offbeat filial tribute on its front page. The headline?

Father Nose Best
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  1. Considered and rejected: “Ashes to attichou”, “Snuffs Pa”, “Low High”, and in the body of the report the immortal – “Lines of a mourner thronged…..

    Seen last night on the news re resolution of H.M.S. Pinafore, Sun headline – “I went all the way to Iran and all I got was a bad suit”.

    Posted April 5, 2007 at 4:54 am | Permalink
  2. the one eyed man says

    It is equally difficult to be witty in the seven letters you can fit on a vanity licence plate. Drivers here in Silicon Valley have the following:


    and on a Jaguar: WASHIS

    Posted April 5, 2007 at 12:50 pm | Permalink