So, this has been making the rounds on the internet:
It’s pretty funny, not hilarious but pretty funny. I won’t lie, chuckled. I’ll buy that some people laughed out loud. I wonder, does that make us bad people?
Unless you’re a sociopath or a robot who calculates when laughing is appropriate in any given social situation, most of us don’t think about laughing. It’s an emotional response that we have little control over, like crying at the end of Terminator 2 or letting your mind wander a little while leafing through pictures of the U.S. women’s volleyball team. We can’t help it!
If you laughed out loud at that image up top, you may have felt a little guilty afterwards. Like ‘Oops, even though that’s a joke, it’s essentially mocking the people in those Sally Struthers commercials that the tv railroads into us at Thanksgiving while my poor gullet is pulling overtime trying to digest an amount of turkey breast that could feed any three impoverished families in Africa and my uncle farts up the upstairs bathroom. I think I should feel bad for laughing at it. Is the bathroom free yet?’
It is Karma that instills this fear in us, this doubt. The general belief that “If I do good, good things will happen to me. If I laugh at the thought of half a kid riding half a bike, I’ll get a flat tire on the way home from work tonight.” That’s Karma friends – but it’s not fair!
The other day I overheard a person (who I don’t particularly care for, but whatever) talking about lawn care. At first it was so boring I wanted to evaporate so I didn’t have to listen to the whole story, but then it took a turn. Apparently the story teller was pushing the lawnmower along, la la la la la, and then splatterhouse they ran over a giant pile of dog shit. This created a shitty shitstorm of flying dogshit that got everywhere – all over their feet, the interior of the lawnmower, the lawn, etc. Now Karma, you dickhead*, this is where you need to pay attention.
*google spell check picks up ‘google’ as a spelling error…but not ‘dickhead’.
Feeling the immediate desire to burst into a fit of mocking belly laughter is NOT to be weighed against me on the scales of karma! Had I not been at work that’s exactly what would have happened, but I used a herculean amount of effort to suppress my natural reaction. And that’s my point, it was a natural reaction. I’m just as guilty and just as blameless for wanting to laugh at that as I am for liking the color red.
If it was me who took a shit on that lawn, then come get me Karma, I definitely deserve some cosmic payback. If, when the humor of the situation finally dies down inside of me like a week from now, I truly feel happy that they got caught in the poop explosion, then maybe I’m a little bit of a badguy here. But just innocently laughing at something because it’s organically funny can’t be held against me! You see it in stand-up comedy routines or roasts, when someone tells a particularly vicious joke and hooks the audience into laughing for a second before they all figure it out, and then there’s a collective “Ohhhhhhhh.” They’re afraid of Karma!
Karma, I know you’re listening because you watch us all, all the time. I don’t need you to be a softy or a good guy. I’m not asking for favors and I don’t want you to twist the rules. It’s not your job to wipe and powder my bottom and tell me it’s different and special from everyone else’s (thanks for that, Wes Mantooth). I’ve made mistakes, I make mistakes and I’ll continue to make mistakes in the future, I’ll take everything I’m owed, good and bad, and I’ll take it like a champ.
But if you want me to believe in you, you have to be fair.
Internally, I can laugh at any joke I want, just like I can like any color I want. You can’t hold the things against me that I have no control over. Plus who knows, maybe she had it coming.
Sometimes shit happens.