This one also underwent an extensive rewrite when I went to lay out the version I had written on 24 Hour Comics Day. The punchline was essentially the “your aim will improve” line, but it was too weak. So I punched it up to this little bit of cruelty. I don’t mind cruel jokes, but something about “the cruelty is the joke” jokes strike me as a little flat. Maybe I just don’t feel like I do that kind of thing as well as, say, Max Cannon in Red Meat.
“Serving as an example to the others” is a joke I kind of appropriated from myself. I think it was at a StellarCon a few years back when I went to the Dragon*Con room party and they had one of those plates full of cheese cubes with toothpicks. I stuck one of the cubes on a toothpick and jammed it into the top of the pile, declaring, “Let that one serve as an example to the others!”
Somehow, I still get invited back to Dragon*Con. Those people appreciate a fine cheese/beheading joke.