Life is hilarious. Every single day, at least one thing should make you laugh, whether it’s a text message from a friend, something wacky you saw on Twitter, or two squirrels beating up another squirrel (I hate squirrels) you should make time to find things that make you smile. When life is viewed through a gray-colored filter, it eliminates all the fun. I’ve been on this earth for 23 years and I don’t think I’ve approached more than 25% of all my endeavors with a serious tone. Not to say I’m totally irresponsible, I just choose to approach certain things with more seriousness than others. For example, I work at a restaurant, so most first priority is making sure I’m making quality items for the customers, but I always make sure I find time to laugh or else I would’ve been driven to the point of insanity long ago.
My point is, life is better when things are funny. And the best part is humor is mostly subjective, so if you think Caddyshack is the funniest movie ever made, that’s great, but I think it’s Strange Wilderness (I’m right, by the way.) However, some “jokes” and scenarios are so mind-bendingly stupid and pointless that any response even in laughter’s wheelhouse is stupid.
Bad joke #1 – ….cool story, but I’ll take fries with my Big Mac
I lead off with this joke because there isn’t a joke on the planet which infuriates me more than this. Since the title was a little vague, allow me to elaborate; it’s become increasing popular to ridicule fast-food employees. I have an example: I was reading a website the other day and a meme type thing came up with a screenshot from a (presumably) teenage girl’s Facebook page where she said some drivel along the lines of “Who needz to lurn 2 reed wen u have swaggggg” and some other teenage 2015 nonsense. The poster of the meme, under this screen shot posted a quote which said “one more thing; can I get fries with that.” Numerous other examples exist which paint the picture of fast food workers are stupid, illiterate people who can’t get a job. I heard rumors back in the day of a far away high school teacher who stapled Burger King applications to failed tests and people thought that was hilarious. That’s disgusting. The first problem I have with shaming fast food workers is that fact that they are human beings. Oh, did I mention they are human beings who are working a thankless, minimum wage job where customers treat them more like machines than people? The problem with message sent by people, like the two examples I’ve mentioned, is the fact that someone is looking down on fast food employees and casting them out as inferior. First of all, if you are so superior, why are you struggling to scrounge a dollar of pocket change to buy a McDouble rather than paying for a New York Strip with your American Express card? I once witnessed a customer at McDonald’s scream at the girl working the registered because she charged for extra ranch dressing. In what realm of reality is that considered socially acceptable? Another problem I have with shaming fast food workers is the insistence of them being a workforce comprised of nothing but high school dropout, barely literate heathens, or mentally unstable adults. Apparently people fail to realize all of the broke college students, struggling parents, and regular down-on-their-luck employees who are employed there. A college student, regardless of what background, was at least smart enough to attend college and is working to help stay busy or pay off loans, while a struggling parent makes so little money at McDonald’s every cent must be budgeted to provide for their families. I fail to see how a college student of a well-prepared parent are considered “stupid” in the eyes of society. Finally, I think this teaches the lesson it’s okay to shame people you feel are lower on the employment totem pole. Kids get it in their heads (from a very early age) that working at McDonald’s carries the stigma of a loser, and they seek to avoid that fate at all costs. Going to college and getting a degree isn’t for everyone. One of my best friends went right into the workforce out of high school and is currently making a great living as an iron worker. I couldn’t do that. One of my good friends at Primanti’s has been a manager in the company for eight years and he plans to remain there forever. I couldn’t do that, just like they wouldn’t want to take the college path I’ve chosen for myself. I am no better than them. In fact, you could hold three Ph.D’s, win the nobel prize, by knighted, cure cancer, and go on tour with the Queen, but if you scream at a 21-year old single mother because she charged you 25 cents for extra ranch dressing, then she is better than you and you need to get your priorities in check, you scum.
Bad joke #2 – I’m so random!
“OMG! The other day my friends and I were at the mall and we saw these vibrating chairs, so we went to the arcade and won a giant teddy bear and took pictures of him in the vibrating chair wearing sunglasses! Get it, so he looked like a person! We are sooooooo random!!” If that thought made you want to punch yourself in the face with a chainsaw, congratulations, you have a working human brain. For some reason, and I’ve yet to pinpoint why, the younger generation, mine included, has this infatuation with the term “random.” Random photographs, random thoughts (omg why do we even have toenails), and random clothing have turn the entire 25 and under demographic into the most hated group of individuals since those guys that invaded Poland back in ’38. It’s funny, because the idea of being “random”, by definition, is meant for each person to be a sparkling, bright, shiny flower who adheres by their own fun-loving, spontaneous standards, but has devolved so much where the “random” people all fall into one loathsome group of people who all conformed to a singular idea (see Nazis above). The idea of being “random” does exactly the opposite of it’s goal, as it eliminates creativity entirely, and takes the spontaneous nature entirely out of being fun. It’s almost as if people are forcing this attitude because the constant need to have something cute to say on Facebook completely overrides the need to be legitimately satisfied with some form of comedy that isn’t empty and hollow like photographing a stupid bear on a stupid vibrating chair.
Bad joke #3 – Find the……
Find the vegan. Find the atheist. Find the republican. Find the freelance semi-professional bass fisherman. All of these are joke orchestrated towards people of a particular interest. The “joke” is meant to imply someone like a vegan, for example, is very easy to spot since they are typically very vocal and seen as holier than thou given their alternative lifestyle. Atheists are another common target of the “find the…” jokes, while Christians, Engineering Majors, your own mother are probably easy targets as well. The problem with this joke is the fact it’s broadened to include anything. “Find the Obama-supporter” says a red-faced Teapartyer in the comments section of a Youtube video claiming our commander-in-chief has an elaborate and convoluted plot to destroy all the natural gas in the country. Usually, someone’s beliefs (religion, political party, profession) is something they strongly identify with, which means of course it’ll be an early indicator of them. And it’s kind of a double standard. If you meet someone new you expect to have them tell you their job within the first couple of sentences, but if they tell you right off the bat they believe in Mohan, God of the Lava you will look at them like they just farted words. That kinda sucks, considering the Lava God is something they are really passionate about, yet society views them as a weirdo for getting excited about it. No one questions sports fans for their love of teams, so why should vegans get knocked for their weird, unhealthy lifestyle?
Bad joke #4 – Time and place jokes
Disclaimer: I find fat jokes funny, usually. If I’m at Walmart and see a morbidly obese woman park in a handicap spot and then proceed to fill her motorized scooter with gallons of ice cream, metric tons of soda, and miles of hoagies, I no longer have sympathy for her plight. Seeing a chubby kid fall down on Youtube makes me chuckle 100% of the time. I’m not talking about these situations, where I feel laughing is warranted provided it isn’t malicious and directed towards something. However, it’s a different kind of ridicule I find ridiculous; making fun of someone actively trying to better themselves. When I was in college, I worked out in the school rec center, and it was exactly how you would imagine the rec center of a public university; lots of UFC, whey protein drinking Tapout bros. Not fun bros, but the types of bros whose only source of conversation was Lamb of God lyrics and discussions of proper squat form, which is a sentence that couldn’t possibly sound any worse out of context. I usually kept to myself or some friends, opting to finish my workout so I could go play basketball or something, but on occasions I would overhear conversations. One day, a particular unsavory bro and his equally malicious bros were lifting several thousand pounds of aggregate weight. A kid I hadn’t seen before entered the weight room, and at the risk of sounding cruel, he was super fat, to put it bluntly. Like Heavyweights fat. Right off the bat, I instantly gained a lot of respect for this guy, as he realized he had a problem that he needed to fix, so he was coming in to work on himself, a very noble goal. However, my fellow bros didn’t seem as respectful, as I proceeded to hear snickers (no pun intended) and cruel remarks tossed around towards the new guy. I don’t know if he heard anything directly or not, but if he did he sure was doing a good job hiding it. I then realized, in addition to be 27-year old freshman, these guys in the gym were jerks to the highest degree. Laughing at someone in a gym because they are overweight is like going to an AA meeting to ridicule the alcoholics. Saying, “Nice set, tubby” after a bigger person uses a weight machine is literally just a cruel as walking up to a recovering meth addict and saying “nice relapse, you pee smelling burnout.” If someone is trying to actively better themselves and improve their lifestyle they should be commended and congratulated, not reminded of the problem they are trying to remedy, idiot.