morbid humor

The Price of Freedom

Detail of frame from FLCL episode 2, 'Firestarter'.

Live free and die? Oh, wrong state.

A Calais man was killed Saturday night after placing a fireworks mortar tube atop his head and setting it off, according to Maine State Police. It was the first fireworks-related death in Maine since fireworks were legalized in 2012.

Police said the bizarre incident occurred at roughly 10 p.m. in a residential backyard on South Street. Devon Staples, 22, was setting off fireworks with some friends when he “placed the fireworks mortar tube on top of his head and set it off,” the investigation found.

Investigators said the explosion caused a fatal head injury, and Staples died instantly.

(Anderson)

This is why people stick with the simple act of offering condolences. Because, you know, what is anyone supposed to do with that sad tale?

And it is true there is certain dark and morbid humor; many of us appreciate at least the idea of the Darwin Awards, but in the end we are laughing at human tragedy. Or, rather, that we are laughing at some particular absurdity within that tragic context does not erase the fact of human tragedy.

To the one, for instance, we have a dead man, and it is a safe bet that someone, somewhere in the world, misses him.

To the other, we have this dude who tried to launch a mortar off his head and died. What the hell is anyone supposed to do with that?

____________________

Anderson, J. Craig. “Calais man dies after setting off fireworks from atop his head”. Portland Press Herald. 5 July 2015.

Morbid Humor to Bug Your Conscience

Detail of 'Bug Martini' by Adam Huber, 18 March 2015.It’s true, I have a rule that I should complain whenever a setup or punch line is so obviously answered; never presume your audience that stupid, and never oblige them to be pedantic. To the other, if the whole point is to get us laughing at infanticide, well, yeah, I can certainly cut out some wiggle room.

And, hey, since it’s really easy to hyperextend spoonerisms, at least I didn’t go with riggle womb, because that would be way too political.

Oh.

Right.

Damn.

____________________

Huber, Adam. “Loss Word Puzzle”. Bug Martini. 19 March 2015.

Effing Apt

Right. So. Anyway. Er … ah … yeah. Right.Mug shots of Christopher Buckner (top) and Timothy Savoy (bottom), after their arrest in Effingham County, Georgia, in August, 2014.  The couple have been charged with prowling, sodomy, and incest.

Setup or punch lines? That is to say, normally the setup comes first, but it also … er … ah … right.

Is there any dignified way to do this? Or, perhaps, that isn’t our question to ask; it would have served others rather well.

So: A sheriff’s office receives a call reporting a possible prowler.

There you go. That’s the setup. Repeated reviews of the short article from WTOC television (via Tuscon News Now) have not identified a single sentence that is not … funny? … astoundingly creepy? … morbidly ironic? … very, very sad? Okay, that’s not fair; there is one sentence.

Punch line number one:

While deputies checked the area they located a male and a female walking in the area. When deputies investigated further, deputies determined the couple were brother and sister and were having sex in a Kenworth Enterprise Tractor Trailer.

Punch line number two:

“Christopher Buckner, 20, or Guyton and her brother, Timothy Savoy, 25, of Jackson, GA, were inside of the tractor trailer at the County Side Baptist Church on Highway 30 having sex prior to being stopped by deputies,” Sheriff’s Spokesman David Ehsanipoor said.

Punch line number three:

Effingham County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the area of Hester Road and Highway 30 because of a report of a prowler shortly after 4 a.m.

Yes, let us stitch that all together: In Effingham County, Georgia, a brother and sister have been charged with prowling, sodomy, and incest after allegedly getting it on in a tractor trailer at a Baptist church.

No, really. What do you do with that one?

Normally I would say they’ll hear about this one at the pub when all is said and done, except it is uncertain whether or not the razzing will be moralistically driven, or fueled by envy.

Effing Effingham County. Georgia. Really? They couldn’t have found, say, a gas station restroom (not the Baptist church) in, say, any northern state (not the South), in any other county (not called Effingham)?

The thing is that at a genuine human level, this is supposed to be something between concerning and tragic. But in terms of what comes across the newswire? Someone, please tell me the wire has been pranked. Please? Because I’m pretty sure, “God help us!” is simply inappropriate on this occasion.

(more…)