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Hear Bertha Belch from Africa

As a newspaper editor, I lay awake some nights thinking about headlines.

No, I do not write headlines while in the comfort of my bed. Rather, I will recall the ones I wrote in the most current edition of this newspaper and hope they are correct. My worst nightmare is a headline that due to its inaccuracy or misspelling detracts from the substance of the story.

But there are headlines that slip past even the most savvy editors. Listed below are a few funny headlines (thanks to innocentenglish.com for these nuggets):

Police begin campaign to run down jaywalkers

House passes gas tax onto senate

Two convicts evade noose, jury hung

Milk drinkers are turning to powder

Safety experts say school bus passengers should be belted

Quarter of a million Chinese live on water

Farmer bill dies in house

Iraqi head seeks arms

Queen Mary having bottom scraped

Prostitutes appeal to Pope

Panda mating fails – veterinarian takes over

Judge to rule on nude beach

Include your children when baking cookies

Teacher strike idle kids

Miners refuse to work after death

Juvenile court to try shooting defendant

Local high school dropouts cut in half

War dims hope for peace

Couple slain; police suspect homicide

Man struck by lightning faces battery charge

Crack found on governor’s daughter

Red tape holds up new bridges

Funny words in print (or the way we interpret them) are not just restricted to newspaper headlines. Here’s a sampling of church bulletin “boo-boos”:

Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.

Bertha Belch, a missionary from Africa, will be speaking tonight at Calvary Methodist. Come hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa.

The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.

Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale. It’s a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Don’t forget your husbands.

The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has been canceled due to a conflict.

Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community.

For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.

When it comes to being downright funny, nothing beats a lame excuse on a car insurance claim.  These excuses were on accident claim forms of a major insurance company where the policy owner was asked to make a brief statement describing their particular accident:

The other car collided with mine without giving warning of its intention.

I thought my window was down but found it was up when I put my hand through it.

A pedestrian hit me and went under my car.

The guy was all over the place. I had to swerve a number of times before I hit him.

The accident occurred when I was attempting to bring my car out of a skid by steering it into the other vehicle.

I was driving my car out of the driveway in the usual manner, when it was struck by the other car in the same place it had been struck several times before.

As I approached the intersection, a stop sign suddenly appeared in a place where no stop sign had ever appeared before. I was unable to stop in time to avoid the accident.

The telephone pole was approaching fast. I was attempting to swerve out of its path when it struck my front end.

An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my vehicle and vanished.

When I saw I could not avoid a collision, I stepped on the gas and crashed into the other car.

Coming home, I drove to the wrong house and collided with a tree I don’t have.

The indirect cause of this accident was a little guy in a small car with a big mouth.

Hope ya’ll enjoyed these as much as I did.

Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be contacted at cal.bryant@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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