I like a good joke as much as the next loser. Of course, usually I am the next loser.
I ask you to consider the image on the right. Is it funny? This picture came up in an image search for the word “humor.” That means somebody out there thinks it is funny.
Humor is a lot like beauty, I think, in that it’s in the eye of the beholder. If your mother is currently in the back of the morgue with her ice cold dead body lying rigor mortis on a slab, I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that you might not think the sign is so funny. For the rest of us, however, the sign might be funny as fucking hell!
There’s one crucial ingredient about jokes and humor. Do you know what it is? Think hard. This isn’t a trick question.
Oh yeah. The shit has to be funny. Humor without funny isn’t humor at all. I know all about this. Not because I’m funny but because I strive for it and fail. That makes me a freakin’ expert.
But you know what’s way worse than not being funny? It’s using your non-funny as an lame excuse to attempt to get away with being an ass. Case in point: Willard “Mitt” Romney.
Why isn’t saying “It’s just a joke” a valid defense for spewing just about any old bullshit you want? I’m about to tell you why.
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The existence of the National Rifle Association begs the question, “Can you win an argument with a crazy person?”
The answer, of course, is, “Hell no. BANG. BANG. You’re dead. Now don’t say shit like that ever again.”
Well shut my mouth.
I’ve been trying to think of an analogy to start this post. I utterly failed so we’ll go with the ever popular cookie.
“If you eat that cookie you will die.”
“You know what? I’m willing to risk it. NOM NOM NOM!!!”
Four years later…
“If you eat another cookie you will die.”
“Are you fucking serious? You were totally wrong about that four years ago. Totally. It is scientifically impossible to be any more wrong than you were. I’m still here. I ate the cookie and I didn’t die. You were the worst wrong of all time. You hold the world record for wrongness about that cookie. How do you live with the fact that you were absolutely wrong in every possible way?”
“Easy. I figured out that the cookie had an evil plan. It decided to kill you later. It didn’t kill you the first time because it wanted to lull you into a false sense of security. The next time you eat the cookie you will die. You’ll see. That’s why I was wrong. I failed to truly understand the evil and deviousness of that cookie.”
Fool me once. Shame on you. Fool me twice? You must be the NRA.
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If you’re not like me, then what in the name of Zeus’ butthole are you doing here?
Let’s think about this problem mathematically. There are two possible conditions when we consider the question, “Am I insane?” One is insane, the other is not insane. (I guess there is also theoretically partially-insane but for the sake of this discussion let’s leave that out of the mix. For now. Mwuhahahah!)
With those assumptions locked in, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work.
If one is insane, it logically follows that one will not be able to correctly deduce the state of their own state of insanity, therefore the activity is a complete waste of time.
Whee. This is fun!
Perversely it follows that even if you are sane, you can never be too sure, so you might think you are not. Yet another waste of time.
Thus I conclude that pondering one’s one sanity is probably not the most productive thing one might do.
Every story has a beginning…
Ack. God, I hate that shit. Of course every story has a beginning. No shit, Sherlock. And every journey begins with a single step. Blah blah blah. Unless, of course, it’s The Never Beginning Story. I’ll bet that story doesn’t have a frickin’ beginning. Because it’s never beginning. Hells yeah! That makes sense to me. I may have to do a 42-part web series on the never beginning story. I’d like that.
Here, let me take a crack at this sort of nonsense. “Every story can be told at least two ways.” Cryptic enough for ya? Whatever. This is my story. And it all begins on a Tuesday morning not too long ago…
I knew it was my wife. Through the plexiglass that separated us (conveniently sprinkled with air holes) I sensed that see she was angry. Her nostrils flared. She was about to speak.
“Don’t,” I said, interrupting her before she started. “Something has gone wrong, hasn’t it?”
“Good morning, Tom,” she said. “Yes, something has gone wrong.”
“Closer,” I said. “Closer, please.”
She took a step forward and the light from my room illuminated her a bit more fully.
“Tom, you …,” she started, but I sniffed at the air between us, thick with tension, and she hesitated.
“You don’t smell of garbage,” I said. “Sometimes you do, but not today. No, not today. It’s my job isn’t it? A man’s job, but sometimes you still have to do it yourself. You stand there in your fancy shoes and try to pretend your husband always does his share of the chores. But today he didn’t, did he?”
I sniffed at the air again, longer this time. “No, he didn’t. And neither did you. But the smell of garbage is still there. Not from you, no. From the kitchen. From the bin that your husband didn’t take out. Isn’t that right, Clarice?”
“Yes, it’s Tuesday morning, isn’t it? Monday is when he takes out the trash. Because we all know what happens if he doesn’t.”
“Do you know what you look like standing there with your fancy shoes and your faith in your husband? You look like a rube, Clarice.”
Her eyes showed momentary surprise. She was shaking now.
“Last night you heard it, didn’t you? The awful sound of your garbage not being picked up.”
I pressed on.
“You still wake up sometimes, don’t you? Wake up in the dark and hear the silence of the garbage not being picked up?”
“And you think, if you could somehow motivate poor Tom, that garbage would be gone by now, don’t you? You think if the garbage was gone, you wouldn’t wake up in the dark ever again to that awful silence of the garbage not being picked up.”
“I don’t know. I don’t know.”
“Thank you, Clarice.”
Eh? The other way of telling the story? It goes like this: “Tuesday morning my wife told me I forgot to take out the trash.” Now you tell me. Which version did you like better?