By Ian D. Jones
Humor’s obviously important; otherwise it wouldn’t have evolved along with us. The political journalist Norman Cousins famously recuperated from a bout with illness, helped by marathon-ing the Marx Bros. movies. Groucho and Co. are great, but I prefer dark humor. I think it’s because my Mom’s a nurse. Nurses are known for their dark humor. It helps them get through the job. The thing is, it gets a bad rap for what is its best selling point: it’s disarming. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten a double take when I’ve said “Well, I’ve gotta run…” Oh really?!
That’s not to say I issue a blank check for anyone to make these types of dark jokes on my behalf. In fact, it’s one of those things I ask you not to do. It’s like plutonium. If it’s in the wrong hands, things could be bad. But if I make a joke, by all means, laugh… Because some pretty ridiculous stuff happens sometimes. After getting dressed one morning, I texted a friend of mine (who also has my disability,) “If I can’t feel my feet, how is it that I can pull a specific pair of socks out of the drawer, and think ‘Oh, good, I like these!’?”
My sense of humor often surprises people. While it’s often full of “safe” humor — puns and “Dad jokes”, it also skews a bit dark, particularly when it comes to my disability. Movies like Shaun of the Dead are gold to me.
When I was in the waiting room at Kaiser Hospital once, I noticed two of the doctors in one particular department were … born into it. Their names were Weiner and Wang. It would have been too perfect if one of their first names was Richard.
For Christmas 2015, I got the Apple Watch. Naturally, I got the $17,000 edition because I’m rolling in dough over here. Even though I disabled the Stand alerts (telling me to get up and, you know. Stand…) somehow, I still get notifications that I’ve hit “2 hours of standing today!” How did I manage that, and with whose body?
There have been countless times when I’ve been in the general vicinity of the check in line at the hospital, and get asked if I’m in line. I’ve had to figure out a way to position myself so it’s obvious I’m not… the best way I’ve found is by facing a blank wall…. And yes, I’ve positioned myself in front of many potted plants…and still, I get asked.