Back in the 1990s I ran a website devoted to medical humor. I’m not an artist, but I hired one to create cartoons based on my ideas.
I’ve toyed around with doing something like this in the “Cancer world.” I have found others doing it already, I will probably will not make a herculean effort for that cause. Too many irons in the fire.
However, I have been thinking on the philosophical and psychological roles of humor. Not as an act of denial but an effort to frame the overwhelming within the broader context of life. The first time I went through something very hard, thirty years ago, one thing I found helpful (besides a stack of Far Side cartoon books) was a bumper sticker that read, “Don’t take life too seriously … it is but a temporary situation.” I put it up in my office.
But sometimes I see life as a comedy. Sometimes it is a dark comedy like when I said, “I finally have my life dialed in and things are almost perfect” about 4 weeks before I came down with cancer. But sometimes life is a silly comedy. I grew up in a family where we saw life as a musical-comedy, such as the Broadway play, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. We never stopped laughing.
Below is an idea that came me the other day that may only be funny to someone suffering from cancer or some other chronic illness. I may post these from time to time, depending on how it is received.
Betty: John, where did you go? Everyone was looking for you and you just disappeared. Did you go back to the car?
John: No, I just had to take care of something.
Betty: Did someone say something to offend you?
John: Oh, good heavens no. I just had to do something.
Betty: Okay, don’t tell me! You must have delusions that you are with the CIA or something. I always thought you were an odd man.
John: Okay, if you have to know, I’m on chemo and it causes me to have explosive diarrhea throughout the day. I was about to shit in my pants.
Betty: Ugh! … You are also an over-sharer.