A while back I was working on a story about the massive 2009 flood here in Jamestown for a company-wide project. The story ended up not getting used, but before it ended, we asked the project leader how long my story should be.
The answer: 12.
It turned out that meant 12,000 words, but I sent a silly email to my editor headed, triumphantly: Another Assignment Done!
With the following “story options.”
Dark waters threatened Jamestown, lapping at the Glory Hole on the James.
Too much water in Jamestown, sandbags ahoy! It was time to panic.
Flood control solutions were wanted in Jamestown. Wanted: Very large paper towels.
(Of course the actual flooding was very obviously not funny at all, but scary and nerve-wracking. The actual 12,000-word story was not funny either.)