Sunday, September 27, 2009

Flying off the handle

Bags fly free: My wife and I were just watching a Southwest Airlines ad on TV that said that bags fly free. There are several ways to look at that, and at least two are bad. When I was a kid, older women were often called old bags, although rarely before their faces. That gives bags fly free a new meaning. My other thought was that, if bags are flying free, they ought to tie them down.

I realize that's nitpicking, but people have nitpicked my headlines to death. I once wrote a headline about John Cook being tied for the lead in the Buick Open golf tournament. The headline was "Cook, three others tied in Buick." Naturally, someone visualized four guys tied up and gagged in the back of a blue Buick. I had a hard time living that one down.

At the same newspaper, I once opened up the paper to a two-page ad. There were six words in the ad, and it was meant to be read left-to-right. I noticed immediately, though, that if you read just the left page, it was a sexual suggestion. We called the ad people -- we were putting out the live newspaper -- and the chief ad salesman laughed it off. The company advertising with us had signed off on the ad, and there wasn't anything we could do. It had been printed days in advance.

Thought for today: Doesn't "expecting the unexpected" make the unexpected expected?

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