January 7, 2004

As I’ve mentioned a few times before on Poynter Online, I’m an unapologetic news junkie. In the course of a single day, or a night, I’ll skim several hundred or sometimes several thousand headlines and articles. More often than not, I end up with a handful of headlines that I can’t resist sending to friends. Out of that came Headline of the Day, a Poynter Online feature that allows registered users to add the headlines they like (good, bad, or ugly) and everyone else to vote on them daily.

At times, it seems like a one-man party, with the winning headline securing a single vote most days: mine. That’s just fine by me, I enjoy picking the winner. But our stats paint a different picture: lots of lurkers, just no voters. 

Last night, I added my 1,000th headline: Man Wearing Chicken Suit Robs Kroger. I only hope it doesn’t draw attention to our recently retired president, Jim Naughton. So much for spending his idle time in a kayak.

To commemorate the headline millennium, I’ve picked some of my favorites. All of these are actual news stories, not one-liners from a witty blog.  Many of these links are now dead, or in an archive behind a dollar sign. All I can say is, you should have been at the party when it was hopping.

After you browse the headlines below, tell us which one you like best.

My personal favorites
This is the type of headline I like; creative with a nice gait, maybe even a laugh.   

Kite takes flight with Norwegian in tow
Woman found dead with arrow in head
Gannon’s cannon plugged by Bucs
Roosters on Boosters
Three cheers for Spears rear
Are You Gaga for Google?
Hurley snubs Bing’s boon
Baghdad boy band bid for big break
Pudgy porkers pare pounds with new wanker’s diet
Flying moose lands on car’s roof
Police chief fries thief
Chong gonged for selling bongs
Snack whacker fails to nip Nipchee in bud
A pro’s pro pulling a con’s con
Proprietor loses to city’s propriety
Birdie barrage on creampuff courses
It’s Bowie Like Doughy, Not Bowie Like Howie
First-ever pooper scooper powwow
Crabbers crabby over ruined traps
Pancake physics to cut batter splatter
Fake Food Soaps Bought By Wicked Folks
Flying waitresses ready to clip pesky perverts’ wings
Quarter pounded at McDonald’s
Kraft: Who Cut the Cheese? 

With headlines like these, who needs the story? 

Snow Storms May Be Precursor of Winter
Bombs are frightening, SA human shield says
Police find body in cemetery
Investigators: Flaming Car With Body Inside ‘Suspicious’
First-Time Exotic Dancers Should Avoid The Pole
Local people want local news
Meaningless headlines provide an illusion of substance
Minnesota’s population aging faster than predicted
Man Invents Glow-In-The-Dark Lightbulb
Hemp Beer Creates a Buzz
Speeding motorist blamed Coke
There’s a gut feeling about this whole intuition thing
Lesbian Japanese monkeys challenge Darwin’s assumptions
Survey Says: People Do Stupid Things While Driving
Girl gives frozen metal pole a lickin’, her tongue keeps on stickin’
Raiders lively as King Tut (he’s dead)
Sept. 11 Suspect Moussaoui Wants to Torture Ashcroft
Authorities Seek Flasher – Police: Man Typically Wears No Pants
`Spooning’ Comes Second To `Forking’ And `Knifing’
‘Fear Factor’ to feature bobbing in blood
Indian testicle attack ‘is murder’
Cremated Clowns And Dogs Get Equal Treatment
29 hours is a year on OGLE-TR-56b
Iraqi War Is Really A Bid To Steal E.T. Technology
Short on style: Mullets set to make comeback

Not so obvious
Don’t assume everyone knows what you’re talking about.

Grandmother Gives Sex Advice on Oxygen
Forest Service employees donate to Glory Hole
Bong, Ramirez linked at the arm
Pope Likes The Passion
Wind ban in effect for Ohio Turnpike
Michael Jackson is arrested in handcuffs

This will be a blurb about the ‘oops’ category.  Replace this with real text. 

big headline goes rightyy here
Placeholder story for testing purposes
Dummy stories provide excellent content for prototypes
Test story for section 1637
gsdgsd gsdgsdgsdggsi
CORRECTED – CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Japan call interest rate under zero for first
Poll: Alabamians believe not enogh spent on education
Animal headlines
You can’t go wrong with a good animal headline … can you?

‘You Can’t Beat a Drinking Pig’
Swede jailed in Australia over trouser snake smuggle attempt
Fire-starting cat saves family
Man whips fiancee with cat
Rescued Sea Lions Released to Waiting Sharks
Fla. Black Bears Look Like ‘Bald Rats’
Dog lovers supporting man in poop flap 
Cliché animal headlines
Anyone can do a man bites dog headline. 

Pigs eat farmer
A dog-shoots-man story
Man bites dog
Man bites croc
Syracuse Police Say Man Bites Dog
Man ‘killed by own dog’  
Pet Cat Shoots Boy
Man’s Face Infested With Ants
TV Personality Sues After Alleged Dolphin Injury
Badger rampage injures five
Squirrel terrorises town
Bear Attacks Sub
Girl really got run over by a ‘reindeer’
Seal bites rail commuter
Man falls to his death: dog arrested
Bull terrier arrested 
Show me the monkeys … indeed.
After 1,000 headlines, one thing I’ve learned is that everyone secretly wants to write monkey headlines. 

Show me the monkeys
Monkey offers lice-removal service
Morocco offers US monkeys to detonate mine
Invisible condom protects monkeys from AIDS
Rodeo Monkey Shows Spurs At Stock Show
Man pleads guilty to primates in pants
Man smuggled monkeys in pants
Man hid monkeys in pants, pays price
Monkey goes ape and bites man’s ears
Monkey Visits German Pizzeria, Vandalizes Toilet
Green Bay City Council will consider monkey’s owner’s appeal
When Monkeys Are Not Men
Woman dies in crash caused by monkey
Toledo Zoo displays new swamp monkey
Typing monkeys, but no Shakespeare
Police On The Lookout For Unarmed But Potentially Dangerous Monkey
Police on the lookout for runaway monkey
Monkey terror on Marve Road
Five endangered monkeys stolen from Hillsborough County sanctuary
Monkey of a mayor falls into sex trap
Killing of ‘Monkey Man’ sparks protest

…and beaver headlines.

Man finds beaver on porch
Beavers no match for Trojans
Tips for dealing with beavers
Beaver Bytes
Castor wants to erect giant beaver
Activists upset by Girl Scouts in Alaska who trap, skin beavers
Girl attacked by rabid beaver
New Jersey town celebrates its beavers
Headlines that kept me from reading the article
A good headline should entice the reader. These made me want to avoid the article. There are some things I just don’t want to know. 

Police: Man slashes friend in argument over who had the hairiest buttocks
Man shot in drunken penis-size competition
Grits argument turns violent
A game with handcuffs, blindfold and a paring knife
Charges Dropped In Scrotum Biting
Andy Dick kills son’s hamster
Violent intruder just looking for love like mama used to make
Iceland Suffering Through Testicle Shortage
Get a whiff of this…
Experts sniff out why Uranus gas is silent but violent

What the…
The world is a crazy place. Don’t take my word for it, here are the headlines.

Rocker Enslaved And Humiliated By Robots
Man Cuts Off Penis, Tosses It to His Wife
From footsies to frog jobs, female felons getting it inside
DIY coffins ease retirement boredom
Woman chased by fake alien sues reality TV show
Police discover tempest in a toilet
Boy breeds beetles in his body
Police Say Man Swallowed Sister’s Finger
Bog robs man of $500 ‘pig and pussy’ record
Dead woman told to tidy grave
Dead driver given fine
Man shows how he lost thumb, and loses finger
Drug workers cleared to give free needles to kids
War will see vagina violence rise
Shuttle crew studies sprites and elves
Crazed juggler put away
Robber shoots man, steals his biscuits
Cannibal reveals man-eater network
Mom sucks son’s blood for shredding money
Ohio Teens Forced To Walk Through Town With Donkey
Train doors close on groper’s gonads, sets perversion off on different track 
“I can’t believe they just used that headline.”

Porn viewers held under stiff penal code
Spanking the big monkey
It’s Hard To Pop A Cherry On Shirley Temple Soda
Sheep farmers report having good times, good prices right now
Masochistic meat beater drops by cop box to choke chicken
Rape Nuts
Hobbit Astin Gets Trim
A Hard-on for Numbers
No sex in Madonna’s new tale
Sasebo girls welcome seaman with open legs
Bush Lays Bare Split with France Over Iraq
Jackson Beats It
Man Jerks Off at Women’s Center Fair
Fit me baby one more time
Red-faced love hotel antics bite to the bone
You’re a Better Man If You Eat Like a Woman
Zoo vistors face fines over balls
Watson urges ‘hot balls’ action
Texas Monthly’s Bullshit
Hopping mad fat boy skips to one-legged victory
Two One-Legged Inmates Skip Jail
Is it shuttle debris, or is it burnt toast?
Hicks battling deafness
WHAT THE FUQUA?! Mistress sues “Training Day” director, Antoine Fuqua.
Sex trade pulls punters’ plugs with dark, wet surge of energy

The evil SUV
Rush Limbaugh has a theory that reporters consider SUVs autonomous, nature-destroying, gas-sucking agents of Satan. Headlines don’t prove him wrong. 

SUV is identified in Tipton slaying
SUV Backs Over Sunbather In Volusia
Woman, 39, Killed By SUV
Waiter saves patrons from SUV
SUV rear-ends 18-wheeler; Four dead
Twelve injured as SUV crashes into Broward bus
SUV Strikes, Injures Officer Aiding Motorist
SUV plows into garage, passengers flee

But it looks like nature is striking back:
2 killed when tree hits SUV on road

Of course, the media does occasionally mention the owners, too:
SUV owner ignorant
Are Hummer Owners Idiots?

Slow news day.
When the news well runs dry. 
Skynyrd Guitarist Not Sure About War With Iraq
Lieberman For, Against Tax Breaks
Feds Investigate Sandwich Stolen From Break Room
Dispelling myths on swollen scrotums
Nipple Enlargements: More Common Than You’d Think
Rocket gang kill gerbil
Billy Connolly gets penis stuck in zip on plane
7-inch french fry for sale on eBay
Def Leppard cooks, shops in Wichita 
Stop.  Please stop. 
When good headlines go bad … really bad. 

Gibson to the “Max” Again
Rael-life mystery Who inspired cult
Local Taco Bell Worker Tests Positive For Hepatitis Customers Urged To Make A Run For The Doctor
Trucker ‘Bear-ly’ Saves Woman
Houston, We Have An Omelette
Houston, We Have A Weight Problem
Local Pooper Scooper Always Is On Dooty
Jacko Keeps Coming Backo
Doc: Jacko Attacko No Joke-o
Handling Jackson without gloves
‘Hannibal’ star sinks teeth into marriage
Dude, you’ve been busted
I don’t keep up with the Zeta-Joneses
Halle’s comet
Halle `Berry’ Beautiful To Plastic Surgeons
Nicole Using a Q-Tip? Not What We Ear
Mighty mouse just fails to put cat out
The patient patient didn’t go off his trolley
Stones scalpers no satisfaction
The Bucs tops here
See Bucs run. See Bucs run over the Raiders
Venus rises to the occasion
Farmers see alpacas as a stable investment
Not Gigli-ing now
Lewd ladies living free and easy in lecherous lodgings wired for smut

[ Share your favorites and tell us why you like them. ]

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(formerly Multimedia Editor at Poynter.org)My personal website.
Larry Larsen

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