Rejected Onion Headlines 7/28

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I seem to be busier than ever at The Onion. Between trying to come up with the regular headlines, coming up with headlines for our special issues, trying to write articles, trying to write jokes for daily content and headline and picture captions, working to help launch a new (or rather, seriously ramped up) section of the paper / website, and working on a pilot with Joe Garden for Adult Swim (well maybe, my relationship with a certain inanimate object in the writers' room is probably just a way to relieve the tedious parts of working here rather than the next Odd Couple), I can see that this sentence is too long. I need to stop writing run-on sentences. What? Anyway, I haven't worked this nearly this hard creatively before. Instead of coming up with one article idea a week or so for the Heckler, my joke abilities are being strained to churn out new material within days, hours, and sometimes even minutes. It's easy to see how this profession can wear on people. Instead of just saying a witty remark as it comes to me at a party now, I seem to over-analyze it and want to throw up (though that could be the alcohol). I begin to wonder if I will become as disillusioned with comedy as I did politics
last year. Probably not, but taking pity on myself like this and questioning my worth keep me going. I can't just accept that this is the peak of my life right here, writing for The Onion, and enjoy it. Though is assuming I'll never do anything bigger than this just more self pity? Eh, here folks, look at these funny funny funny funny funny funny funny funny funny funny headlines:

Week Eight
Failing in the first round (Monday 7/28):

  1. Homeless Woman's Promotional Bag Not Doing Bank Of America Any Favors
  2. New DNA Technology Clears 91-Year-Old Black Man Of Rape And Murder Of Amelia Earhart
  3. Cambodia Sex Tourism Board Rolls Out New "Cambodia: The Next Vietnam" Ad Campaign
  4. Lee Greenwood Hints At Another Terrorist Attack
  5. Nelson Mandela Wondering Why He Hasn't Been Asked To Guest-Host Tyra Banks Show Again
  6. PEZ Dispenser Collector Dispenses With Own Life
  7. Area Man Turns Love Of Complaining Into Profession
  8. Fed Rates Remain Steady As Bernanke Remains Steady On Couch
  9. Boy Forced To Give Signature Not Sure Whether To Use Cursive Or Print
  10. OE: If You Keep Trying To Turn This Candle Party Into A Party, I’m Going To Have To Ask You To Leave
  11. MAG: How Long Will It Take This Injured Major League Pitcher To Make What You Will In A Lifetime?
  12. Area Man Spends All Of His Time Reading Up On How To Be More Productive
  13. Nabisco Scientists Complete Periodic Table Of Oreo Flavors
  1. Naive Freshman Floor Unsure Why They Have To Set Rules For Vomiting In The Common Room
  2. Professor Surprised History Of American Beer Pong Course So Popular
  3. Secret Society Secretly Lame
  4. South Korean Girl Living Next Door May Or Not Be Dead
  5. Rich Kids Magically Gravitate Toward Each Other In First Week On Campus
  6. Cell Phone Ring In Library Met With Deafening Sighs
  7. MAG: Boat Shoes: Could They Be The New Crocs?
  8. MAG: Fashion 2008: We Tell You Which Clothes To Steal From The Laundry Room

Failing in the second round (Tuesday 7/29 and Thrusday 7/31):
  1. Man Wearing Spongebob Suit Can't Possibly Be Licensed To Do That
  1. OE: Ask A Freshman At His First College Party
  2. University President's Letter To New Students Obviously Written In 1996
  3. Visiting Parent Takes Over Class Discussion
  4. MAG: 10 Tips That Would Have Really Helped You Not Fuck Up Your SATs
  5. MAG: How To Make Your Suicide The One Your Campus Will Be Buzzing About

So there you go. Through all that work, and endless discussion in meetings, I wound up with one op-ed headline in the regular issue and one op-ed one-liner in the back-to-school issue. This week the article I wrote was actually the op-ed I got into the regular issue. It's in the character of one of my childhood idols, and it was really fun to write. I just hope it's not too mean.

Check the Onion website Saturday or this week's print issue at stands now to see my fat face ruining the image of Georgetown alumni and this fine university.

Gay Shit

Saturday, July 26, 2008

How do you get past the hysterically image-conscious administration a pretty honest article about Georgetown's lackluster history of suppression of gay students and their rights? Make it extremely long and post it in the middle of summer.

Also in here:

Georgetown was a very social place for undergraduates on campus in the 1960s, says John LeBedda (C'68). Dances, parties, concerts and other events such as polo games on weekends represented the norm, he recalls.

"Unfortunately, all of these events were totally straight..."

U.S. Trades Alito To British Supreme Court In Six-Judge Deal

Friday, July 25, 2008

This is a headline I pitched at the 6/16 meeting.

I of course didn't write the story. The Onion Radio News, once again, is masterful the work of Mr. Chris Karwowski.

Rejected Onion Headlines 7/21

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I have realized that blogging mostly about The Onion is pretty masturbatory. However, there are a few reasons I'm keeping this up:

  • I need blog material, and this is close at hand.
  • I don't have the time to comb through stuff I don't want to read to find interesting stories about Georgetown, and I'm not living there right now so they don't just come to me.
  • Everyone else seems too lazy to post on our blog.

Anyway, a long two-week vacation and special projects week have meant that it's been a while since the last installment of rejected headlines. This week, following an extra brainstorm session, I read 28 headlines instead of the usual 15.

Week Eight
Failing in the first round (Monday 7/21):

  1. Dollar General's Troop Morale Low
  2. Shark Attacks Sensationalist Media
  3. Bush Finally Breaks Out Looney Tunes Ties
  4. West Virginia ‘Doing All The Work’ To Keep Up Pen-Pal Relationship With Western Sahara
  5. With No Other Options, Man Forced To Create Own Sudoku Puzzle
  6. Bored Dubai To Build Next Skyscraper Out Of Poor Arabs
  7. Greatest Generation Buys Greatest CD Set From Infomercial
  8. Man Survives 14 Hours In Death Valley Without Internet
  9. Following Controversial Comments, McCain Campaign Drops John McCain From Ticket
  10. McDonald's Worried Olympic Sponsorship May Conflict With Its Nonconformist Image
  11. OE: It Would Have Been A Crime If I Hadn't Stolen That Rubber Cement (by a third grader)
  12. OE: It's In My Heart, I Just Open Up My Mouth And It Happens (by an amateur karaoke singer)
  13. OE: Those Fajitas Better Come With Taco Bread And Salsa Sauce
  14. P/CP: Point: My House, My Rules (by a mom), Counterpoint: You Don’t Own My Body (by the house)
  15. MAG: If We Put These Pictures Of Obama And McCain Next To Each Other, Does It Look Like They’re Kissing?
  16. MAG: We Imagine An Exclusive Interview With J.D. Salinger
  17. MAG: 50 Great Ideas That Will Fail To Make It To The Market
  18. MAG: “You Have To Laugh” And Lots Of Other Bullshit We Put In Steve Carell’s Mouth
  19. MAG: Our Interview With Junot Díaz: Boring As Hell, And He Seems To Have No Information On What It’s Like To Work With Michael Cera
  20. MAG: McCain Or Obama? We Help You Cast Your Inconsequential Vote For The One Who Conforms To Your Inane, Misinformed Worldview
Failing in the second round (Tuesday 7/22):
  1. Area Grandfather, Baby Given Obsolete Palm Pilots
  2. Conspiracy Theorists: Ted Kennedy Being Killed By More Than One Form Of Cancer
  3. MAG: Hey There, Is That Picture A Metaphor For America’s Decreased World Power?
  4. MAG: Hot New Band Vampire Weekend: From Riches To Further Riches
I got four headlines into the paper this week. Two are magazine covers. One is an op-ed one-liner, an item that will be accompanied by a picture and featured on the left-hand column of the front page of the paper and the bottom of the website (we call them "skyboxes"). The last is another skybox (a news one, not an op-ed), that I will be really excited to see in the paper. I'll just say that it's terribly morbid and is probably the best Onion headline I've written so far.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Here's my epic laser tag point-counterpoint.

I wrote this in either my second or third week at The Onion. I had a little trouble at first coming up with the cornball tone of Will Gallant, but then I came across some of the message boards of adult enthusiasts and a review of some laser tag place in California by a dad. Oh boy.

The second part was tough too. I had to almost completely rewrite it on the second draft because it read like a play-by-play of Will's actions rather than a speech by this laser tag employee, and even in the second draft it wasn't quite up to par. I don't think the jokes hit as hard as in the first draft, but the piece is better overall for fitting in with this guy's voice.


Man Given Points For Trying Increases Total Trying Points To 643,457

Monday, July 21, 2008

My 1994 Saab 900, as a Ninja Turtle

Here's an article I wrote. Most of the sad, sad details were inspired by my own life.

Pitino Sends His Son to Georgetown to Kill Us, Jesus

Monday, July 14, 2008


The only different new aspect, life without Ryan. My fourth son taking off for Georgetown University. Things won't be the same without my loyal sidekick.

How could this happen? How? Is the only thing the admissions committee knows about basketball which players they're supposed to let in? WE'RE TALKING ABOUT A MOLE HERE, PEOPLE. "Loyal sidekick"? C'mon. They blew it. They totally blew it. We're going down.

Didn't they immediatley realize when they saw this surely sleazy, sweaty, short kid show up at the admissions interview that he was going to destroy Georgetown?! Jesus Christ! R.I.P. Georgetown, 1789-2008. It was a good run. Until you let in a Pitino.

When Jack the Bulldog is found dead in a pool of blood at orientation, we will know it has begun.

Just look at this abomination.

Finally Some of My Onion Material Has Been Printed for You Fuckers

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Here you go.

That's what was selected in the headline meeting on June 9.

A few details are mine, but most of it was written by Todd Hanson, screenwriter of the now-disowned Onion Movie.

More Megabus Georgetown Blogging

Monday, July 07, 2008

Yay! Another fun Public Safety Alert!

Damn, I missed these.

Like most of these bulletins, this one's a little strange. However, who wouldn't want to live in Vittles? I considered doing it before getting the Onion job, which came when I was just four days from taking my last final and couldn't seem to get a summer job.

I bet that was paradise until he got caught. It's understandable he chose Vittles over Snaxa, because all of their ice cream was melted for some reason the other day.

As for Charlie?

We all miss him, random Vittles intruder. We all do. But we have to move on.

Village A Construction

What's going on with Village A? Walking by this weekend, all of the paths into the complex were blocked off like this. The only things I was able to see were a bunch of cherry pickers sitting around and a construction worker using one of them to polish a railing while he listened to his iPod. I did hear from a trusted friend that she found an empty keg on the site. So what's going on in Village A?

  • John Glavin needs Village A now for wherever his secret, arrogant plans are taking him
  • Patio doors are being removed on the rooftops so residents can no longer pump beer to the underage freshmen hordes on the rooftops from the safety of their own living rooms
  • Jim O'Donnell needs Village A now for wherever his secret, boring plans are taking him
  • Jack DeGioia is finally giving into that criticism he received for not living on campus by having Village A leveled and his house airlifted onto the site
  • Some multi-million dollar project is being undertaken on the rooftops by What's After Dark that is supposed to make drinking non-alcoholic beverages and awkward sober dancing fun
  • The rooftop apartments are undergoing renovations for their new residents, DPS officers, who found it took too much effort to get up there and keep watch of things otherwise
  • The Stewards are building giant neon keys that will hang above Village A and will perform a dubious service to the student body while in no way signifying who put them up there
  • Construction of a new business school building (nobody in the administration realized they had already started building a new MSB building)
  • A new virtual reality center is being built that will allow visiting parents to keep up the illusion that their children aren't drinking
  • New paint is being put on that will make stairs more slippery
  • A huge new statue is being constructed that parallels the one of Christ across the road in between Gervase and Ryan Hall, except this one is of Todd Olson and Jesus angrily beating a keg with baseball bats

Whatever the improvements are, the notorious apartments on Prospect, like the one I will be living in next year, do not seem to be getting them. Thanks again, Housing!

Here's Your Blogging About Georgetown, Fuckers

Above: Heckler editor Jack Stuef on the scene as construction ends on the "S.S. Miller High Life" in Nevils. Conclusion: the new MSB building would have been built a lot faster if Georgetown used the labor of its drunken students. Also: the MSB building would have collapsed multiple times and have had to be rebuilt. Also: you can't see it, but the High Life bottle at the top of the ship is wearing a sombrero expertly woven out of a little plastic cup by occasional Heckler writer H.A.F.

This entry is being posted right now somewhere in Maryland on my way back to New York from spending the weekend in D.C. You should really try Megabus. It's as cheap as BoltBus, and it features nice, new buses; strong, high-speed, no-password wi-fi; and bootlegged new-release movies for your viewing pleasure.

The Diary Of That Gervase Sign

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

July 1, 2008

Oh, my darling, oh, my darling
Oh, my darling Clementine

She is lost and gone forever

Dreadful sorry, Clementine.

Today will be my last entry.

I had a dream last night. I was sitting above the door to Gervase again. It was winter and icicles slowly melted on to me.

A student lumbered in. He was there to complete work sanction hours for an alcohol violation. I imagined him back at the party in Village C or New South or even LXR in the lands far. He was happy for once, escaping the bitter cold and stresses of a young life with a lukewarm Natty Light in a friend’s dorm room. Then someone came in and stole him from this solitary pleasure.

It was not unlike what they did to me.

I drifted into the nightmare again. There I was, just hanging there, enjoying a restful night. It had been a long day; I counted ten people that needed me to tell them where Gervase was. Sometimes in those days I questioned whether I even made a difference, but damn I loved that place. Then they came. Like a team of basketball players from Hell, they jumped and knocked me off my post. One put me in his bag and took me away. I try not to be so feminist about these things, but it really was a form of rape.

I awoke in a cold sweat and imagined for a split second that I smelt the sweet aroma of banana bread. Of freedom. But it quickly turned into the foul stench of death.

Long I have tried not to think about it. But today I face the truth: they have moved on. Sure, they may have put out a broadcast e-mail. They may have gone a few months, even a year, before replacing me. But now another sign is there in my stead, and they have forgotten about me. Maybe the new sign is just a piece of paper taped on the door, coldly telling passersby “GERVASE PROGRAMS.” Maybe worse, she looks just like me. Maybe the only reminder of my absence to the Gervase staff is when people ask if the new sign is me returned from the dead. I wish the new sign luck, but I hate her.

I sit here alone on this white townhouse wall. For two years, I have sat here suffering as a piece of irony in this wretched man’s bedroom. If only I could have told him how much I hate John Glavin too! But alas, I cannot speak his language. He graduated over a month ago, two years after quitting the Carroll Fellows. The bed was taken with him, the clothes, even the other posters. But now I sit here alone in a barren room, a sign on the wall no longer meaningful to a man who has moved on.

Rather than waiting another two months to meet my maker, I have decided to end it here. I was always too proud, or too cowardly, to face the bottom of a trash can. And so death must be dealt by my own hand.

If anyone ever reads this, tell the Honor Council I love him.

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