Oldie (and possibly goodie): The humor of morbidity

ORIGINALLY POSTED OCTOBER 5, 2007

WARNING!!  This is one of my patented “not suitable for all audiences posts”: profanity, depraved thoughts, insanity, all are on display here.  If you are easily offended by what is meant to be humorous, go away now!!

You know, this is going to sound horrible, but… I find myself laughing at people’s deaths sometimes. Not because they died, I feel as much sympathy for people and their families as anyone. It’s just that sometimes the manner of peoples’ demises is just funny as hell.

Come on, you know I’m right, especially when outright stupidity is involved. Of course, there is the Darwin Awards for things like this, but when someone finds out I find them amusing I frequently get asked “how would you feel if it was YOU? Wouldn’t you be upset looking down, or up as the case may be, at people laughing at your death?”

The short and simple answer is it depends on how I die! Here’s my feeling… if I die in some incredibly stupid or bizarre way that tickles your funny bone, laugh your ass off! It’s if I get killed by a drunk driver or am in the mall when Al Qaeda decides to bomb it, then I would hope you’d keep it in check (at least in public). Deaths like that deserve your sympathy, regardless of who the unfortunate victim was.

But, those guidelines are likely not solid enough for some people, so, I’ll make it simple for you… Below is a list of ways that, if I meet my end in them, you are hereby free from sin is you bust a gut at my expense… Also note that in at least some of these cases, such a high degree of stupidity would have to be involved that you might be LEGAL OBLIGATED to laugh at my death!

  • If I am working at a zoo and feed 14 animal laxatives and 200 tons of grain to an elephant and then suffocate under a mound its dung while trying to administer an enema to said constipated elephant, you are free to laugh at my death.
  • If I stick my tongue on a telephone pole in the dead of winter and either die of starvation five days later, or of blood loss when I try to cut my tongue off to escape, you are free to laugh at my death.
  • If a fireball engulfs me while lighting a cigarette on my way to Taco Bell for the nights’ second round of beef and bean Burritos, you are free to laugh at my death (think about it…)
  • If I carve a nice pattern into my face because I wore a tie while working near a spinning lathe, you are free to laugh at my death.
  • If we discover that our parents were telling the truth and all that gum I swallowed (and continue to swallow) did in fact built up as a giant ball in my lower intestine and blocked my digestive system, eventually exploding in a mess of fecal matter inside me, you are free to laugh at my death.
  • If I develop a severe case of lactose intolerance, cease eating and drinking all milk products, and then die of a nutritional imbalance caused by the lack of milk in my diet, you are free to laugh at my death.
  • If I am electrocuted as a result of a short circuit in the automatic electric toilet flusher I install and the electricity travels up through my stream of pee and stops my heart, you are free to laugh at my death.
  • If my doctor tells me I have to lose weight and I proceed to eat nothing but salads for a month and then wind up choking on a dry piece of lettuce, you are free to laugh at my death.
  • If I decide I want to cheat on my wife because I have a sick need to know what sex feels like with a 500-pound woman and I am subsequently suffocated while performing the deed with said monstrous heffer, you are free to laugh at my death.
  • If, in an attempt to jump over a puddle on the sidewalk I slip on a patch of ice and bash my skull wide open on a hot dog stand in New York City, you are free to laugh at my death.
  • If I stroke out while squeezing out a particularly solid pound of fecal matter after a trip to Old Country Buffet, you are free to laugh at my death.
  • Anything involving a door mouse, a barrel of fish, a rainy day in Jacksonville, Florida and at least 20 jars of peanut butter (creamy, it won’t be funny if it’s chunky!), you are free to laugh at my death.
  • If I eat a package of popcorn kernels, because I like to do that sometimes, and then die from hundreds of small holes in my gut because I went into a tanning bed shortly thereafter, you are free to laugh at my death.
  • If I try to duplicate that A-Team episode where they attach a bunch of garbage bags to a lawn chair and then use hair dryers to inflate them and fall to my death from 200 feet up because the extension cord wasn’t long enough, you are free to laugh at my death.
  • If my skull is crushed by the frozen waste dumped from an airplane lavatory, you are free to laugh at my death.
  • If I light my arm on fire lighting the BBQ, which I could have survived except that the can in the shed that I thought had water in it actually had gasoline in it, you are free to laugh at my death.
  • If while playing on my trampoline I get a bit overzealous in my attempts to pull off a triple back tuck and fly off and impale myself on the picket fence surrounding my flower bed, you are free to laugh at my death.
  • If my wife puts an entire box of baking soda in the toilet in an attempt to get the remnants of the last beef and bean barrio Taco Bell run cleaned up, but neglects to tell me, and I then proceed to load’er up with pee, you are free to laugh at my death (Get it? Baking Soda and urine, which is acidic, chemical reaction, explosion, ‘nough said).
  • If on a very hot day while mowing the lawn I decided to try and drink from my power washer and blow the back of my head off, you are free to laugh at my death.
  • If after getting sprayed by a skunk I decide to take a bath in gasoline, because of course, gasoline can be an excellent cleaning agent, but then decide to try and cover up the smell with candles and incense, you are free to laugh at my death.
  • If I blow myself up by leaving the top down on my BBQ grill for five minutes while the propane builds up and then quickly open in and toss a match in, you are free to laugh at my death. (Incidentally, this is the one item on this page that I’ve actually come close to doing once or twice… I’m kinda dangerous when it comes to grilling!)
  • If I’m ever in a buffet and the place goes up in flames but I stay behind to fill my plate one last time to eat outside while everyone else escapes and I wind up a roast ON the buffet table, you are free to laugh at my death.
  • If I dehydrate in a hot tub, lose consciousness and then drown, you are free to laugh at my death.
  • If I am eaten alive by sharks because I forgot to take the package of Slim Jims out of my swimming trunks before going into the water, you are free to laugh at my death.
  • If I drop dead of a heart attack while riding a stationary bike because my doctor told me I have to get in shape, you are free to laugh at my death.

And there you have it. My wife says it’s morbid, but shouldn’t we laugh at something that is as absolutely inevitable as death is? What the hell else can you do in the face of the Reaper? Besides, as the Darwin Awards prove, when stupidity is involved or just incredibly bizarre bad luck, don’t we almost have an obligation to laugh?!?

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