There are a lot of things that you can’t make easy jokes about anymore.
Like for instance, some old television shows and movies and comedians used to get a lot of joke mileage out of getting drunk. But since then, much has been made of the pain drunk people have caused others, like drunk drivers, so you can’t be so quick to make jokes about drunkenness or it might seem like you’re making light of that pain.
And blows to the head aren’t considered to be as funny as they once were. The Three Stooges constantly played blows to the head for laughs. Bowling balls would roll off the edge of a shelf high on a wall and bounce off the head of some poor sap below. Or Moe would get mad at Larry or Curly and hit them over the head with a pickax or sledgehammer.
But comedians don’t do that kind of slapstick these days. Maybe it’s because we all know that in real life blows to the head can cause brain injuries and brain injuries cause people to say and do weird shit and it might seem like you’re making light of people who are crippled because of brain injuries.
I suppose that’s a good thing to be mindful of, but I still tell funny stories about people with brain injuries. One of my favorites is about when I was involved in a sexuality workshop for cripples decades ago. For the first session, the facilitator wrote names of body parts on the board and told us all to say slang names for these body parts. This was an ice-breaker exercise. The facilitator’s goal was to make everyone feel comfortable discussing sexuality openly and frankly.
But two of the participants were guys who were crippled by brain injuries. I guess they had the kind of brain injuries that dull one’s inhibitions and impulse control.
Because the facilitator began by writing on the board the word breasts.
And the two brain-injured guys enthusiastically responded with, “Casaba melons! Golden bozos!”
“Spasm chasm! Love canal!”
I’m sorry, but I think that’s funny stuff. What’s funny about it to me is that it shows how weird the human brain is. It’s so elaborately balanced and interconnected that if you mess with one part even a little bit, there’s no telling how much it’ll throw the rest of the brain out of whack.
And it’s also funny because it shows how much we mighty humans are slaves to our brains. If our brain tells us to say or do something, we’re pretty much powerless to resist. But it sure as hell doesn’t work the other way around. Those brain-injured guys in the sexuality workshop both walked gimpy, too. That shows what a stubborn sonuvabitch the brain can be sometimes. If it doesn’t want to do something, like tell the legs to quit screwing around and walk normal, there’s not much we can do about it.
Let's be honest, there’s plenty funny about the brain.
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