Weekly Writing Challenge: The Best Medicine – Laugh, Clown

Life in shreds? Out of work? Evicted? Hiding from the repo guys? Other half dumped you? Bank threatening to foreclose? Don’t take it personally. It’s just  a joke. No, really. Disaster is life’s cute and funny way of pointing out how little control you have over your fate. Don’t cry. No one likes a cry-baby. Smile! That’s it! Go on, now, no suffering allowed. This personal disaster is your cue to laugh. No one wants to hear your sad story … unless you turn it into a funny story! Then everyone wants to listen.

The first time my world went to pieces, I walked away from a dead marriage, gave everything to my ex and moved to another country. The joke was on me. I promptly married a guy so much worse I get dizzy thinking about it 30 years later. When that fell apart (though it lasted longer than it ought because I wouldn’t admit what a horrible mistake I’d made), I staggered — bloody, dazed and penniless — back to the USA. When I stopped feeling as if I’d gone through a wood chipper, I married Garry which I should done in the first place, except he hadn’t asked. Minor detail.

All that seemingly pointless pain and suffering was not for nothing. Stories of hideous mistakes and horrendous outcomes are the stuff of terrific after-dinner conversation. A few drinks can transform them into hilarity. Misery fuels humor. It’s a fact. Misery, mistakes, and disasters are high comedy. Funny movies are not about people having fun. They’re about people in trouble, with everything going wrong, lives in ruins. The difference between a comedy and a tragedy is the ending. Tragedies usually end with a pile of corpses; comedies (usually) don’t. Otherwise, it’s just a matter of timing and style.

Funny stories weren’t funny when they happened. Now, well, yeah, they’re funny. After I was told I had cancer in not one, but both breasts (they were having a two-for-one special at the Dana-Farber), I had them removed and replaced by silicon implants, but stopped short of adding fake nipples. Previous surgeries having left me with no naval, I now present myself as a space alien. You don’t believe me? It’s true.

And about those fake tits: I own tee shirts that say “Yes, they are FAKE. My real ones tried to kill me.” I’m wearing one right now. It’s a killer at parties and is the high point of my cancer experience.

Fake breasts

When life goes to Hell in the proverbial handbasket, a lot of folks that were sort of friends eye you with suspicion (is bad luck contagious?), but also with a subtle hint, a light whiff, of profound satisfaction. They wouldn’t be rude enough to say so, but they are overjoyed that it happened to you, not them. Sorry about your life, really. (Furtive, slightly smug grin.)

If you are a writer, out of the wreckage will come a book or at the very least, a Freshly Pressed badge from WordPress. Yay! See? It wasn’t for nothing!

Our personal traumas are collateral damage in a Darwinian battle of the fittest to survive. No one gets through unscathed. So mindful of whatever tragedy lurks just over your personal horizon, why not prepare some clever repartee? You can give it a test drive at the next get together with your more successful pals. It will give you something to look forward to. And, as a bonus, you will really appreciate the irony when your friends’ lives go to pieces later on. You’ll be able to give them great advice on how to survive their personal Apocalypse! Cool!

So no matter how horrible things are right now, don’t worry. You will stop bleeding and screaming. Eventually. Black depression will ebb. You won’t always feel you can’t breathe. That crushing weight on your chest will be replaced by a permanent sense of panic and mild hysteria you will call “normal.”

Start laughing right this minute.  No tears allowed. Tragedy is hilarious. Heaven may be droll, but Hell?  Everyone is yukking it up down there. Watch out for the flame (oops).



Categories: Entertainment, Humor, Life, Marriage, Personal

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

14 replies

  1. Very well written, and put some perspective in the middle of my own personal Apocalypse! Thank you.

    Like

  2. You did a great job! This grabbed my attention and kept me reading til the end! Love the shirt and that you have laughter left in you to through tragadies too! Thanks for the good read!

    Like

    • You are very very welcome. When things are really ugly, you either learn to laugh — or you fall apart. Since falling apart has never seemed a real option for me, I went with laughing. What’s really weird is I can often see while everything is totally evil what a great anecdote it will make … later 🙂

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  3. So true. We laugh loudest at our worst moments. I’m the one who’s always saying the worst thing at the worst moment, just because I’m avant-gardiste like that. I see the funny shit years before everybody else!

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    • Funny you shoud say that. I often realize in the midst of whatever hideous crisis I’m in that this is going to make a GREAT story after I stop bleeding and dying and everything 🙂

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  4. Wow – you’ve had quite the experiences – and you still know how to laugh ~

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    • If I couldn’t laugh at life I would be dead or gibbering in a padded cell. At a certain point, it really IS funny. Bizarre? Absolutely. But funny.

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      • Totally – we had a horror/humorous move to Arizona – probably more horror than humor – but you have to see the funny in it…else, like you said, we’d be in a padded cell.

        Like

        • Moving from anyplace to anyplace else — even around the corner — is usually horrendous. But major moves, across continents or to completely different societies (even in the same country, like moving from Boston, MA to Waco, TX say) is total trauma. You’d BETTER have a sense of humor. Laugh or break!

          Like

Trackbacks

  1. When Sheep Don’t Bring You Joy – DPChallenge | The Mercenary Researcher
  2. FACEBOOK: TO POKE OR TO PUKE? | Aurora Morealist
  3. DP Challenge – The BEST Medicine (Disclaimer: This Post is NOT my FAULT) | Aurora Morealist
  4. When Is A Vacuum Not A Vacuum? | My Daily Prompt Blog

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