Can we begin with something serious?
After Charles died, I started noticing the number of times people make a suicidal gesture to express boredom or distaste for something. This happens in sitcoms and movies all the time. The actors on Cougartown were especially fond of this gesture. I know this because, for awhile, I wrote down in my journal all the places I saw these suicidal gestures. Is that sick? Well, let's be honest, I was sick for awhile. I was trapped in a maze and I had to find my way out.
I noticed that my good friends didn't make that gesture anymore. We all became very aware of it, I think. If a friend did say something like "I'd shoot myself", I'd hope they wouldn't realize, just keep going, not stop mid-sentence and apologize to me. God, that was the worst.
I absolutely understand the joke. I get it. I don't think people should stop doing it because it offends me. It actually doesn't offend me at all. Maybe it makes me think about something unpleasant, but, trust me, nothing anyone says or does can make me think about it less or more. It's just a fact that lives in my brain. It's in a nice little cage, like a monkey you can always see and hear. You can usually ignore it so it becomes little more than white noise. Sometimes the monkey throws its own shit at you. When someone makes that suicide joke, all it does is make the monkey a little louder for a second. Don't worry. I know how to get that little asshole to shut up.
I love humor so the thing that is really sad is that the suicide gesture joke is insanely unoriginal. Come up with something new, people. Make your suicide joke original, at least.
You're bored. I get it. Oh my God, you're so bored you could DIE! Yep, when Charles killed himself it was because there wasn't a damn thing on television that night. He was SO bored. That certainly livened things up!
Sorry. See, I can joke about it. I have a very dark sense of humor.
No, here's when I'm bothered by the joke. When it might not be a joke. People sometimes post things on Facebook about what an awful day they've had, how life is treating them with cruelty, how they can't take it anymore. Someone I don't know but who I'm friends with on Facebook posted something the other day about "putting the gun back in the drawer."
OK, listen, that's not funny. Are you asking for help? Are you serious? Are you joking? Because a lot of people will assume it's a joke. Then, down the road, when someone else says to them, in total seriousness, "I'm going to kill myself," those people will think, "This isn't real. This is overly dramatic bull shit. Whatever."
I was one of these people once. It's a hard thing to live with.
I guess what I'm asking is that you think before you make a hyperbolic statement about how you had the worst day ever and you're giving up.
If you truly are having a horrible day, if you truly do want to give up, call someone. Anyone! Write someone an email. Anyone! Ask for help. Use very serious words and say what you are feeling. Breathe in and breathe out. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
If you're just having a typical day, try to avoid using unnecessarily strong words to express yourself on Facebook. Using these words when they aren't even close to true only weakens a very serious message. But you already know this. You've heard the story about the boy who cried wolf.
The story hits home a little more once you've actually come face to face with the wolf.
"When we are alarmed with imaginary dangers in respect of the public, till the cry grows quite stale and threadbare, how can it be expected we should know when to guard ourselves against real ones?" - Samuel Croxall
A Suicide Joke That Makes Me Laugh
Father Jim Martin, author of Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life.
So a guy commits suicide and he goes to heaven.
God greets him there, and the guy says, "I'm so surprised I'm here. First of all, I thought there was no God. Second of all, I thought if you killed yourself, you know, you were damned forever."
God says, "You know, that's a complicated issue. Everybody at least thinks about ending it, you know, killing themselves at some point."
God says, "Even I've thought of it."
The guy says, "Can I ask, why didn't you do it?"
And God says, "What if this is all there is?"
One day, Jacob and I saw this video and we both busted out laughing. Not so long ago, Jacob had to gather aphorisms that we say in our family. An aphorism is a saying that embodies a general truth. One of the aphorisms I say often is this: Comedy is tragedy plus time.
I guess I'm sharing this because I want you to know I laugh at inappropriate stuff all the time and it's absolutely OK. One of my favorite quotes is this: "If I ever stop laughing, I'm dead." - Tom Knapp.
But I also want you to know that if you're struggling in a real way, your life is not a joke. Log off of Facebook and seek help immediately. There are people willing to listen. I am absolutely one of those people.
And if you're just telling a joke, well, try to make it funny.
The Most Important Meal of the Day
Taco Bell has introduced a breakfast menu for what it is calling "First Meal."
Listen, this has gone too far. This is just wrong. Taco Bell should not be your first meal of the day. I'm not against Taco Bell later in the day. I love a steak soft taco. (OK, I love two of them.)
And I was totally on board with "Fourth Meal."
But that's because I was drunk.
Last week, I angered someone because I used something he said to me in my blog. He told me I had a lot of pet peeves. I went off on a little rant about it. I'm a writer. That's what I do. Writing is my outlet. Hell, I've spent more than a year writing a book about the things I need to get out. A lot of you might be in it.
Don't be scared. Everyone who is in the book already knows they're in it. I will change the names of anyone who requests I do so. If you want your name changed to something fabulous like "Princess Consuela Banana Hammock" or "Crap Bag - first name Crap, last name Bag," you best let me know now.
If you want me to refrain from expressing myself through my writing, well, you best think again.
Leo Tolstoy Can Suck It
I'm almost finished with the first book in my 12 in 2012 reading challenge. Anna Karenina is in the top ten worst books I've ever read (And I've read Twilight.) So if you haven't read it and you want to know if you should, here's my answer:
It's so boring it makes me want to throw myself under a train.
See what I did there?
Full circle, my friends. Full circle.