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Fake News Headline Challenge

Can You Outdo The Onion?

By Everyday JunglistPublished 3 months ago 3 min read
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An onion, not The Onion. Image by license from Adobe Stock.

When it comes to fake news headlines, The Onion remains the undisputed heavyweight champion. Of course I am referring to The Onion in its heyday, back when it still had a hard copy print edition that actually could be delivered to your door or purchased from newstands or paperboxes in large cities around the country (mostly the northeast). Yes, that is how old I am. What remains of The Onion, theonion.com is mostly a sad reminder of those halcyon days of yore. They still sell merchandise featuring some of the classics, but the headlines and stories they crank out today are a far cry from the brilliant, biting, satire and wit of their early to middle years. Of course, it could just be I am too old now to appreciate the humor. In any case, selecting the best of them is really an impossible task. There are just too many to choose from. However, for purposes of this challenge, which is to come up with the best The Onion style fake news headline, I am going to list three of my all time favorites, starting with my absolute favorite first.

1. Kitten Thinks of Nothing But Murder All Day

Here it is. The classic headline in all its glory. Such a cute little kitty.

The juxtaposition of the adorable kitty and the horrible crime of murder is so jarring that at first your mind fails to comprehend the brilliance of it. But then, as you ponder it, the idea that some cute little kitten (the picture is an absolute classic and really helps sell the whole thing) could actually be spending the entire day contemplating murder is just so damn, well, hilarious, that it boggles the mind. If I could ever meet the person that came up with this headline I would kneel before them like a lowly peasant meeting a great king or queen. Absolutely, freaking love it.

2. Drugs Win Drug War

The brilliance of this headline is that it reveals a truth that everybody already knows but nobody is willing to say. The article is as good as the headline with Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey ceding power to High Times magazine editor Steve Hager. And finally..

3. Funyuns Still Outselling Responsibilityuns

Call ignored in the order it was recieved is pretty damn funny too.

The fact that I could still spell responsibilityuns after all these years speaks volumes to the power of this Onion classic headline from 2003 (I think, the print is kind of blurry). Just saying the word, Responsibilitiyuns makes me laugh. Heck, even just thinking the word makes me laugh. This stands in great constrast to Funyuns which are so gross, they actually make me cry. The word play is absolutely brilliant and it makes sensse on so many levels. Of course people prefer fun over responsibility, and, even in the face of one of the nastiest snack foods of all time are still buying Funyuns in larger quantities than Responsibilitiyuns. The fact that there is no such thing as Responsibilitiyuns does not at all detract from the hilarity of the premise, but in fact, emphasizes it. Entire Ph.D. dissertations could be written by aspring English majors on this one headline alone. That's how many levels it works on.

The Challenge

OK. So the challenge is actually two fold. First you need to come up with a classic The Onion style headline. Second you need to figure out how to publish it in the Vocal humor community without running afoul of their absurd six hundred word count minimum for story publication. You will have to be clever as I am short of six hundred words right now myself and so am just adding a bunch of garbage nonsense at the end of this piece of crap story/challenge in order that I might surpass the all important six hundred word hurdle. There, I did it. Yeah.

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About the Creator

Everyday Junglist

Practicing mage of the natural sciences (Ph.D. micro/mol bio), Thought middle manager, Everyday Junglist, Boulderer, Cat lover, No tie shoelace user, Humorist, Argan oil aficionado. Occasional LinkedIn & Facebook user

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  • Andrea Corwin 7 days ago

    Actually I like the headline about the killer robots next to the drug one.

  • Kendall Defoe 3 months ago

    I think I can do this: I have a closer on my articles that is about one hundred words long. If you put things under Poetry, that is all you need.

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