THERE IS IRONY HERE, IF YOU LOOK DEEP ENOUGH
Let’s talk about funny.
I won’t bore you describing the tiny tragedies of my beginnings. We’ve all suffered, and, when viewed in proper perspective, all suffering is trivial. When the self-indulgent drama is brushed aside, I best remember laughter. Through it all, the darkness was split and punctuated by laughter.
Samuel Clemens is famously misquoted as saying “man is the only animal that laughs, or needs to.” The first time I heard that quote I understood it thoroughly. Humanity was born the moment a cold, hungry, shivering animal looked around at the noise, waste and horror – and laughed – because there was nothing else to do about it but laugh.
I vaguely remember pain and dread. Then something happened, something I still struggle to understand. I concluded it was good and right to encourage others to laugh.
At first it was my immediate family, in particular my mother. Her laughter was special. But so was my older brother and younger sister’s. It was a simple thing that cost nothing, but made so much difference for those brief moments in time. Light in the darkness. Trembling, tentative order forced out of chaos by the simple act of willing it to be so. For a brief moment, the Power of Creation, the shadow of what it must feel like to be a god.
And so it continued, it was and it has always been. When all is said and done, the truest, strongest, most meaningful bond I share with my wife is laughter. Slowly, time robs us of everything that brought us together, but shared laughter holds us close.
And our son – our only child. I am a proud father. My son is shaping up to be a good man – a better man than his father. I am proud that his mind is sharp. I am grateful that, unlike his old man, he is truly kind and caring. But I am most proud of his fine and complex sense of humor. It is the one gift I hoped to give him, valued above intellect and heart because the mind and the spirit are subsumed by it. One cannot be truly funny unless one is smart and sensitive.
God doesn’t laugh. I’m not kidding: look it up. God laughs exactly twice in the Old Testament and not at all in the New – and both times in the Old He laughs “in derision.”
Humans laugh. Only we humans. And that is absolute proof that God loves us. Animals are too busy living from moment to moment to laugh. Angels are too perfect to so much as crack a smile. But we beautifully flawed humans not only laugh, we are inspired to make – to help – to encourage – others to laugh too. It is a kindness only we know. It is a blessing only we can bestow. It is a light only we can spark.
I love to make people laugh. It is my connection to the infinite. It is the absurdity that makes total sense.
And that is enough.
That and money. Lots of money. And sex. Kinky sex – not the “man on top, get it over with quick” kind of sex. And champagne – the good French stuff, not cheap California swill. And double-jointed women – two, whenever possible.
Fiat lux, oh my brothers and sisters.
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