Opinions Vary: Cancer Patients and Lottery Scams


What does that title have to do with that picture?  Nothing.  What does it have to do with this whole article?  I’ll get to that.  You see, this is my turn to helm the column Opinions Vary.  Today you’ll be stepping into my fun house to play with my magic mirrors.  Wipe your feet and keep your grubby hands off the glass..

I love to laugh.  Nothing makes me happier … literally.  What gives me a raging funny boner?  Random shit.  The more random, and more macabre (hence the title) the more I like it.  Even as a small child I was chastised for laughing or joking about horrible things.  I was met by the age old adage “There is a Time and a Place for Jokes.”  I agree with that statement, and here we get onto the crazy train that is my opinion.

The Time and Place for Laughing or Making Jokes are Always, and Everywhere!

Two and a half years ago my mother found out she had cancer.  Sad stuff right?  What did I say when she first told me?  “No, you’re a Virgo.”  (See: Title)  Not a good joke.  Not even a clever joke.  But hey, give me a break, I had just found out that my mother had cancer.  I didn’t do it consciously, I did it reflexively.  The same damn thing I’d been doing since I could talk.

My mom is a champ.  She got my shitty joke, understood it was my way of coping, and then kicked cancer’s ass.

In case you didn’t get the message from my allegory, I’ll spell it out for you.  Everything is funny.  You can and should make jokes about everything.  Humor is something we should all share with everyone, all the time.  Why you ask?  Because we live in a sick twisted world where we’re on camera more than we’re not.  We puke our thoughts into a stream of consciousness that anyone can see.  We entrust our lives to strangers at an alarming rate.  We have to enact ridiculous security standards and protocols because every minute of every day, you could die.  Go ahead, think of a place where you think you won’t be in danger, I’ll tell you how you can die.

Police station?  Unstable cop.

Hospital?  Bacteria.

In your home?  Fire.

Movie Theater?  Michael Bay.

In your bed?  Radon.

The world sucks ladies and gentlemen.  If we don’t laugh at it when it tries to kill us, then what’s the point?

The troubling water you have to wade through though is the personal insults and attacks.  Some people take themselves way too seriously and get offended at the slightest hint of a good time.   The sad truth is that if they just let go of whatever stick is up their ass and saw … oh, I don’t know, a video of a man falling off a ladder, they would probably laugh.  Pain, when temporary, is hilarious.  That brings me to my next point.

Don’t Get Discouraged by the PC Police.

I’m going to let the funniest man who walked the Earth during my lifetime handle this section.  Ladies and gentlemen, Patrice O’Neal.

Let funny people be funny.  Ain’t that perfect.

The video above is Patrice O’Neal defending a joke about a homeless man raping Condoleezza Rice and Michelle Obama.  Sounds awful, right?  Well …

The More Outrageous the Statement the Funnier it is

It’s hard to make reality based jokes and get away with it.  To do it right you have to go over the top to ensure people know you’re joking.  This principal also has a practical application to it.  That is, of course, anecdotes.

I have a friend who we’ll call Steve.  Mostly because that’s his name.  Steve’s motto has always been “The worse the personal experience, the better story it will make.”  This is very true.  Think of the worst thing that has ever happened to you.  Now imagine telling it as a story.  I imagine it would be captivating to an audience.  We’re all interested in the screwed up shit that happens to other people.  Embrace it.

I actually used this rule a few moments ago.  When listing off the things that could kill you in various places, I listed a movie theater.  The obvious joke was to go for a James Holmes reference.  Yet I, quite outrageously, declared that a Michael Bay movie was more likely to kill you than an actual murderer.

He Kept the Bacon in His Hat to Hide it From Werewolves

See.  Random nonsense for the sake of random nonsense is funny.  The simple idea that someone thought it was a good idea to put bacon under his hat to protect it from werewolves is ludicrous.  Spam emails are a godsend for this sort of lunacy.  You ever read some of those?  I do.  Constantly.  Sometimes I reply.  The idea that someone typed out a message in broken English, using vernacular that even a sever year old would find alarming, and expects to scam people is remarkable.  My favorites are the Nigerian money scams and the lottery scams (final title callback).  Those ones always have the most unlikely occurrences.  I had no idea I was related to the Sheik of Turkmenistan or that I even entered the Spanish lottery.

So here I will end my disjointed rant about the humor of life and the outrageous crap that should make us all laugh.  I hope you all can learn to chuckle at tragedies.

Homework Assignment: Light a puppy on fire and make five jokes about it.