You may have seen the news story last week about the Ku Klux Klan leader who was caught having sex with a black male prostitute who was dressed like a woman. As a member of the crack writing staff at NWR, I can’t see a story like that and just read it for the information provided and move on to the next article. I have an obligation to the blog reading community to delve further into the topic and see if there is humor potential.
The average person might not immediately see the subtle nuances of irony in this story. Luckily for these average people, I saw that same article. In an unprecedented post, I’m about to give the reader a look behind the scenes and expose the creative, investigatory, word-writing-blog-making process which I usually keep secret.
- Step 1: While sitting at my kitchen counter, looking at the computer yesterday it occurs to me that I’m due to post a blog here today.
- Step 2: Look over my shoulder to check for any nearby grandchildren or Popes.
- Step 3: Curse loudly and minimize my fantasy football and Lithuanian knee porn sites to begin to look for something to write about.
- Step 4: Begin looking at various search engines for news stories which might fit NWR’s strict standards for topics.
- Step 4.1: Look for the old email which outlines NWR’s strict standards.
- Step 4.2: Give up looking for the aforementioned email and get up to let the dog out.
- Step 5: Scribble possible stories to write about on the back of an envelope.
- Step 6: Go waste time on Facebook, only to have a friend from high school instant message me about the KKK-black-male-hooker-in-drag story, suggesting that it would be a great blog topic.
- Step 7: Pretend that I’ve already seen the story to save face with a woman I haven’t seen since 1977.
- Step 8: Make a note of the other stories on the envelope for potential use on my own, neglected blog at some point in the future.
- Step 9: Let the dog back in and start thinking about dinner.
Now I’ve given you a tiny glimpse into the process. This kind of legwork isn’t glamorous. It’s the nitty gritty backbone of investigative humor writing. Without these initial steps, it would be impossible to arrive at the finished post (Maybe not impossible for you, but this is my process).
Now that I’ve passed the germination stage of the story, I’m able to move on to the fermentation process. This part is not nearly as scientific as the first, and involves a good deal of what one might call “randomized free-thinking” (This is particularly likely if one were trying to come up with a snazzy phrase to put in a blog to make people think you’re some kind of creative genius).
During this phase my mind can run wild while the outer me goes through paces of my plain, work-a-day life. My coworkers, family members and fellow grocery shoppers have no idea of the maelstrom of thoughts swirling through my brain at these times. Here’s a snippet to give you some insight:
…glance at shopping list…no almond milk on it, but i think we’re low, better safe than sorry, this shit won’t expire till 2016…the little basket is getting heavy…i should have grabbed a cart instead…careful not to have the almond milk carton fall on the tomatoes and bruise them…if so, it’s back to the produce aisle…kkk is a racist organization which also hates jews and homosexuals…kkk leader caught with a black male prostitute masquerading as a woman…this seems like it might have some humor potential and irony…would have been really, really ironic if the black male prostitute was jewish….damn this stupid basket is getting heavy…look at that lady over by the bulk foods wearing those yoga pants…yowza…kids today and their tight clothes…crap, i put the almond milk on top of the list…kkk guy was caught with the hooker in the back of a car…woulda been more poignant if they were caught in the back of a bus…don’t forget bread crumbs, you always forget bread crumbs…how do you fit in the backseat of a car with one of those tall, pointy hats on?… there’s little miss yoga pants again…
It may be worth pointing out to the readers that at this point in the creative process, I’ve yet to actually type out a single word!
Two thoughts occurred to me while in the check out line:
- The idea of the KKK wanting to screw the black man seems like a natural joke, but I need to be careful not to upset the powerful screw manufacturers’ lobby.
- I forgot the damn bread crumbs.
Armed with two heavy shopping bags and a head full of potential funny, I leave the supermarket and head to my car. Once the perishables are safely put in the fridge, I’ll sit down and start weaving this story into an amusing blog. I absently wonder if Miss Yoga pants parked anywhere near me.