The NZ Herald recently ran a cricket story from Britain’s Telegraph with a brilliant caption. Whether it was the Telegraph’s or the Herald’s is not clear, but well done to its author. It brought back fond memories of the peak years for newspapers, namely the 1980s, when clever and witty caption-writing was something they prided themselves on, and in New Zealand, specially the then Dominion.

Anyway, the story in question is how the English test cricket side has suddenly come alive, whacking all and sundry ever since our Brendan McCullum took over their coaching and New Zealand-born Ben Stokes the captaincy.

Specifically, it’s about how McCullum and Stokes faith in persisting with the then burnt out young batsman Ollie Pope has paid off.

The brilliant heading read,


Mind you, as I’ve written before, while it was simply reportage of the facts, my all-time favourite caption was the then Dominion’s four decades back, “Chainsaw Wielding Transvestite Pursues Westport Mr Whippy Man”.


Britania Waives the Rules. Can not remember which rules the poms were ignoring.

I used to enjoy some of the newspaper ads – These in the Auckland Star when I was a lad –
Hugh Wrights Trousers Down! Inspection Invited!
Wanted: Pre-cast Concrete Foreman for Permanent Position.

I worked with a sub-editor at the Herald (in the 1970s when it was a great newspaper) who wrote a brilliant headline after the people in Kurdistan won a small victory over the Iraqi government. Stan drank free at the Shakespeare for a week for writing “Kurds get their way”.

A well thought out and witty headline adds so much to the story. Some of these journalists are more creative than Spielberg.

Reminds me of my all time favourite country song title (and there is serious competition for this) Bobby Bares “Drop kick me Jesus through the goal posts of life”

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