Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A Bathroom Pun To Remember

There are still two months remaining in 2015, but I feel confident in saying that my single greatest accomplishment of the year came last Friday on a bus ride from New York to Washington, D.C. I couldn't wait to share it with all of you, right here on this blog.

Are you ready for it? Here it is: I came up with a great pun to describe the broken door lock of a small bathroom located on the bus.

I was traveling on said bus with a friend. A third of the way through the trip, he stood up to use the lavatory in the back. Minutes later, he returned and reported to me that the lock on the door was not working properly. Over the next hour, we overheard two or three passengers open the door and discover that it was occupied. How embarrassing.

My friend looked at me and wondered, "What would be a good headline for the bathroom situation?" This is a fun game that I like to play: creating headlines for stories that would never, in reality, be published by any website or newspaper.

There are only two rules to this game: 1) The headline must contain a pun, and 2) the pun must either be very clever or very, very dumb.

My friend went first. He suggested a headline that was merely fine. I couldn't tell you what it was; it was not memorable at all. If a headline is really good, it won't be forgotten.

I nodded my head; he made a solid effort, but it fell short of my lofty standards for puns. I contemplated my turn. A headline for a broken lock that disrupts passengers while they are taking care of business in a compartment on a moving vehicle. I thought of words I could use. Bus? Bathroom? Lock? Toilet? Toilet paper? Can? Flush? Urine? So many options...but which ones would make for a great headline?

I stared out the window for two or three minutes. Then, it hit me, like a flash of genius. A great headline.

I locked eyes with my friend, and with the biggest smile I've smiled in a long, long time, I said, "Swirl, Interrupted."

I was so proud of myself. It was a thing of beauty. Two words that perfectly summarized what was happening on the bus, with incredible wordplay and an impressive reference to a 16-year-old Angelina Jolie movie.

It's a moment like that one that reminds me that if I put my mind to something, I can accomplish anything. Like, say, become a headline writer for the New York Post one day.

I've invited several other friends to top my headline, but none of their suggestions have come close. If you feel you're up to the task, tweet me at @myemptythoughts. But I must emphasize to you: my headline is really special.