Tuesday, July 28, 2020

headline of the day

Picture the scene: YOU, a hardworking professional helicopter pilot for hire, get the call to deliver a BOAT to a HOSPITAL, pronto. But WHY does a HOSPITAL need a BOAT, you think to yourself, but, as befits a consummate professional, you don't stop to actually ask piddling inconsequential questions like this - no, you leap into action, fire up the helicopter, attach a boat to it, presumably dangling below via some sort of rope, and set off as fast as you can (while observing all the rules of the air applicable to helicopters with boats dangling beneath them, naturally: you're a professional, albeit ruggedly unconventional and with a fine disregard for the pompous stuffed shirts at Helicopter Central) for the hospital. You're just crossing the car park heading for the rooftop helipad and the crack boat-untethering team that the hospital administrators have assembled there when disaster strikes: the rope frays and the boat plummets two hundred feet to the ground, pancaking some unfortunate bloke just gingerly returning to his car after a minor surgical procedure on some troublesome haemorrhoids. NOOOOOOOOOO, you wail to yourself in the cockpit, WHYYYYYY did I buy that cheap foreign rope instead of some stout reliable English rope? But it's too late, and you skulk morosely off back to base to cultivate a ferocious drinking habit and a vow never to fly again until disaster move cliché demands it. Tomorrow's newspaper headlines read as follows:

I'll let you into a little secret: the story above is a fabrication, devised specifically to lead the unsuspecting reader to the headline above, gleaned from the BBC News website earlier today. Needless to say this is a crash blossom, and it was in fact the man (who had been crushed by a boat) who was flown to hospital, not the boat itself. Also needless to say, or at least I would hope so, is that my intention here is to mock the careless headline-writing of the people who maintain the BBC website, rather than the plight of the man who had the argument with the boat. I wish him all the best for a speedy recovery, and hope that he SAILS through the experience without being, erm, KEELed.

Previous crash blossoms on this blog (the Language Log link above has lots more) can be found here, here, here, here, here, here and my all-time favourite one here

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