Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Funny Stuff Distill'd 4 Short Attn. Spans

I have to love Stamford when I read lines like this in the paper:

"When 61-year-old Jan Hlywa collapsed at 1:30 a.m. Sept. 23 at the Holy Name of Jesus Christ Church after dancing the polka for five hours, Judge and McAllister beat paramedics to the scene to find the man unconscious and without a pulse."

Dancing the polka for five hours, good God! Who does that? What 61-year-old would do that? Were there others dancing that hard for five hours straight? Frankly, that's just reckless.

This line was from an Advocate article titled "Stamford police recognize work of 3 officers" by Jeff Morganteen. Who knew such a dull title would contain such a funny tidbit? Clearly the author saw the humor in the situation, because he included the polka info, so shouldn't the headline have been a little sassier? How about "Polka Attack Thwarted by Stamford Cops"?

I only checked out an article with a boring title because I do this blog. How many others will skip it because they think it’s about a recognition ceremony? Let’s take this as a reminder to let our headlines do more work for us.

Recall a recent Stamford Times headline: “A Bear Scare: Bear exhibit pulled from City Hall.” That got my attention right away. My heart leapt with excitement: an animal at city hall! I pictured patrons screaming and cops in blue uniforms conquering the bear.

A millisecond later, the word “exhibit” brought me back to reality. A real bear wasn’t there. Of course not. That would be silly.

But that headline, for a second, made me imagine a fuzzy bear inside the cold marble of 888 Wash. Even after I realized it was just an exhibit, I still wanted to read about the scare.

No one wants to read about recognition ceremonies. They want to hear about bears and the polka.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree. One needs to grab the reader at the title or forget it!