Online newspaper struggles to find line

Which of these is the line? The editors of a prominent newspaper have been forced to concede they don’t know.

Which of these is the line? The editors of a prominent newspaper have been forced to concede they don’t know.

A prominent online newspaper is struggling to find the line between tasteful and offensive humour.

Two co-editors of the paper, who have been trying hard not to upset anybody while still retaining their artistic license to comment on current events, have been locked in a room for several days trying to ascertain which of the several hundred lines they’ve drawn is the one that separates real humour from crass jokes masquerading as satire.

“Maybe it’s this kind of bent one up here?” suggested one editor.

“No, it can’t be that one,” replied the other. “That would make that okay, and we know for certain that’s wrong.”

“Well it can’t be this one,” said the first editor, pointing at another line altogether. “Because that one would prevent us from doing that, and I’m pretty sure we’re allowed to do that.”

“Not on Anzac Day, we’re not.”

“I know this one’s more of a wave than a line,” said the first editor, pointing to a new one, “but do you think it works? I mean, it would allow us to do that.”

“No, no, no, we can’t do that,” protested the other.

“Why not?”

“Because he just died.”

“But we did Thatcher after Thatcher just died.”

“Yeah, but nobody likes Thatcher.”

“Oh, okay.”

In the last few hours, the editors have begun to wonder if the threshold isn’t a line, and is perhaps more of a circle or a rhombus.

“So in that case, we’d be able to do everything inside the rhombus, or outside the rhombus?”

“I’m not sure.”

“And what about this thing that’s halfway in the rhombus? Is that social commentary or is that disgusting and unacceptable?”

Both editors just looked at one another and shrugged.

“What if the line is shifting?” proposed one. “We have more readers now than we used to. So that might do something to this drawing that we haven’t considered. It could be that the line used to here, but now it’s over here.”

“Ohhhhhhh,” said the other. “But that still doesn’t explain that sort of zigzag thing over here.”

“No, I don’t think anyone can explain that.”

“So how about this?” suggested the first editor, drawing a squiggly line with a flick at the end.

“That’s brilliant!” replied the other.

“And how about this?” He drew another, very similar line.

“No, no, that’s extremely offensive. I can’t believe you just drew that.”

Sources close to the situation report that the paper’s editors are growing increasingly dejected, and have begun to suspect that they just can’t see the line because they have no souls.