For every “five list” column that is approved by editors, there is an equal number of rejected ideas deemed “unpublishable” by my “superiors.”

It has been a few years since I have shared a list of rejected headlines with readers. I thought it might be fun to update the list this week.

Because of years of writing columns of questionable taste, my editors now require me to submit my planned weekend column idea ahead of time to prevent “embarrassing surprises” and “threats from the public.” Many of those ideas are rejected for a variety of reasons. I’m no longer allowed to question their verdict. But I do keep a list.


Here is a list of those rejected headlines. I thought all these ideas had potential.

  • 5 subtle ways to torture your elderly neighbors with homemade masks
  • Top 5 “adult massage” spots in Chattanooga
  • 5 secrets Jessica told me
  • 5 buildings I would burn down if I were an arsonist, which I’m not
  • 5 tips
  • 5 tiny tips
  • 5 reasons I’m not allowed on campus anymore
  • 5 of Chattanooga’s ugliest people
  • 5 words like “disruptor” that don’t really mean anything at all
  • 5 minutes in heaven with Mayor Berke
  • 5 nights on the couch (thoughts on relationships)
  • 5 things I know about WUTC that may link the organization with the Illuminati
  • 5 downtown streets that are open
  • 5 pregnancies I facilitated
  • 5 things you can kiss, parking ticket guy
  • Top 5 native nuts
  • 5 things I could “Forrest Gump” (You know how he started running for no particular reason and just kept going? This list would be about things like that I could see myself doing. Searching for Bigfoot would be one idea. I’d just take off one day and try to find him. That’s just one example, though.)
  • 5 favorite personal gums
  • 5 abysmal abysses
  • 5 childhood traumas that hindered my ability to love myself or others
  • 5 times I got lost in public as an adult
  • 5 video love letters to Japanese R&B star Koda Kumi
  • 5 ways to recoup from a big ol’ poop
  • 5 questions for Rick Davis about Supertramp founder Rick Davies
  • 5 Chattanooga Christian leaders and their favorite racial epithets
  • 5 whiskey shots with a stranger
  • 5 reasons I’m not going to your fundraiser
  • 5 East Ridge fashion faux pas
  • 5 reasons Glen Miller hated Chattanooga and you
  • 5 reasons heredity plays a role in mane growth of domesticated horses
  • 5, I say, 5 Foghorn Leghorn catchphrases for any occasion
  • 5 Bay City Rollers deep-cuts you should hear
  • 5 lies of the pro vaxxer movement
  • 5 thoughts on that awful lady at the dog park
  • 5 consequences of having unprotected heritage sites
  • 5 unfortunate nonprofit acronyms (“F.A.R.T.” comes to mind.)
  • 5 “See Rock City” tattoo regrets
  • 5 reasons Grandpa is waiting on the blood moon

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