Headlines as an art form

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nm umbrella AP South Korea prepares for a rainy day with umbrellas displayed in front of the Seoul City Hall yesterday. This display symbolises Seoul public officials intention to be an umbrella for Seoul citizens. Picture: AP

NEWSPAPER headlines become an art form when double entendre creeps in. Sometimes it’s deliberate and fiendishly clever. More often it’s

unintentional and naive. But hilarious nevertheless.

Irish colleen Carmel McNair, originally from Dublin and now at Mount Edgecombe, sends in some classics from around the world, originally collected in one of the Dublin papers:

l “Actor sent to jail for not finishing sentence” – El Paso Times.

l “Artificial limb centre has new head” – Indian Express.

l “Smith breaks leg in third leg” – The Guardian.

l “Cannabis smuggling by troops: investigation by joint chiefs” – Morning Star.

l “Equity blacks Othello” – Daily Telegraph.

l “Bus on fire – passengers alight” – West Wales Guardian.

l “Nudists may get coastal strip” – Sussex News.

l “Body in garden was a plant” – Morning Post.

l “Ex-boxer battered outside chipshop” – Cheltenham Echo.

l “Unprecedented event: undergraduates scratch balls” – Oxford Mail.

l “Police found safe under blanket” – Gloucester Echo.

l “Condom faults may lead to dating policy” – Bridgwater Courier.

l “999 men deliver baby” – Kentish Express.

l “New windows – dramatic breakthrough” – Bromley Advertiser.

l “Rare Swansea pottery to go under hammer” – South Wales Evening Post.

l “Man shot dead by police station” – Evening Standard.

l “Yorkshire man takes Supreme Pig title” – Harrogate Advertiser.

l “Woman is sheep dog champion” – Guardian.

l “Dead cats protest” – Daily Telegraph.

l “British bird men held by Turkey” – Daily Telegraph.

l “Rest of year may not follow January” – Wall Street Journal.

l “New York ban on boxing after death” – New York Times.

l “Mark scratches after ‘mystery’ rash” – The Times.

l “Several Vikings hit with intestinal infection: more colour photos, page 14c” – Minneapolis Star.

Then there is also the absolutely clear and direct headline with not a trace of double meaning, that nevertheless is also an art form. My favourite of this genre was in large capital letters spread across two pages of the erstwhile News of the World: “NUDIST CAMP MANAGER FINDS MODEL WIFE NAKED IN BED WITH CHINESE HYPNOTIST FROM CO-OP BACON FACTORY”.

You want the facts? We’ve got ’em! You can’t fault that.

More horseburgers

BARBARA Martin, of Durban North, sends in more on the horsemeat in the hamburgers saga in Britain:

l Some people don’t like the Tesco horsemeat burgers and some do. It’s equestrian of taste really.

l Tesco has clearly taken the phrase “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse” a little too seriously.

l Two Tesco burgers please. Hold the dressage!

l I checked the sell-by date of my Tesco burgers ... AND THEY'RE OFF!

l Until late last night the supermarket shelves were stacked high with burgers – about 13 hands high.

l I had some burgers before I went for a four-mile run last night. I did it in six minutes and jumped 19 fences.

l I tried a Tesco “beef” burger and thought the going was a bit soft – it’s been nagging me ever since.

Robber dog

A BUSINESSMAN in Bihar state, India, has lodged a criminal complaint after he was robbed of 400 000 rupees (about R60 000). Accused is a stray dog – name unknown, breed indeterminate.

It happened at a place called Gopalganj, where the businessman says he had the money in a bag on his bed. He stepped outside to wash at a water pump, at which the dog ran in, snatched the bag from the bed and ran off with it.

About 140 000 rupees were found in a street near the house, but the rest is still missing.

The police say you can’t lay a charge against a dog – let alone an unknown one. But the complainant insists otherwise.

Perhaps it would help if there were a human accomplice. It does seem suspicious. Was that dog a trained retriever?

What time of day did it happen? As Noel Coward tells us: Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun… There’s a lead for the Bihar CID.

Tennis ball

OVERHEARD in the Street Shelter for the Over-40s: “I went to my friend’s funeral today. He was killed by a tennis ball. It was an amazing service.”

Tailpiece

GRANDMA started walking 10km a day when she was 60. She’s 97 now and we don’t know where the heck she is.

Last word

Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are. – Bertolt Brecht


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