Guess what?

Guess what? Actually, never mind, I probably shouldn’t say. You’re not interested? Really? I mean, I could tell you. All right, our cousin, Trish, she’s broke. Totally broke. Isn’t that hilarious? I mean, I guess it depends on your sense of humor. No, I’m not happy that she lost her job. But it’s just kind of funny, right? When you think about it? That new car that she bought last year? Man, talk about bad timing.

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She leased it? Whatever, it’s a new car. Yeah, I guess her company was doing a lot better last year. And sure, you never know when you’re going to run into serious health problems. Still, it just goes to show you that you shouldn’t go around flaunting your wealth and good fortune, because you never know when you’re going to get sick and lose your job and wind up broke. Really? You can lease a brand new Altima for that cheap? OK, well, still, it sort of flaunting. You don’t see me driving around a brand new Altima.

And did you hear about my neighbor Amir? Haha, I really shouldn’t gossip, but he had some sort of a septic issue, something about a broken pipe, and his basement was just totally flooded. Isn’t that hilarious? Like a whole basement full of raw sewage. Jesus, you could smell it from down the block. And we all went outside and stood by our doorways with our fingers pinching our noses. Because that’s just gross, right?

Yeah, right, I see what you’re saying. And I guess I get where you’re coming from, how it sounds mean spirited. Maybe it was a little mean spirited. I thought it was funny at the time. Man, I still think it’s kind of funny. But now I totally get what you mean, yeah, if that was me, I would be really pissed off if someone were standing outside of my house pointing and laughing.

But I’m stuck now. I’m equal parts feeling bad for their misfortune while still finding it all really funny. What does that say about me? Can’t we just agree to let the funny things stay funny? Doesn’t it make more sense to at least laugh about some of this stuff? I’d rather laugh than sit around and mope.

Like when my brother-in-law John lost his foot in that car accident. No, that wasn’t funny by itself. But remember that first prosthetic that he had, the temporary one before the insurance agreed to pay for that really advanced piece of robotics? Come on, that was funny. The foot was like three times bigger than his old one. He couldn’t get any of his shoes around it. And yeah, maybe painting it yellow with orange toenails was a little overkill, but is it really such a character defect to try and introduce even a little bit of joy to an otherwise grim situation? And why hasn’t he gotten over it? That was years ago, and every time we have a family get together, I can tell that he’s still holding some sort of a grudge. Come on John, that new leg you have is better than your old one ever was. Remember at the barbecue last summer, and all of the ice was frozen into solid blocks inside the coolers? He was practically showing off, “Hiyah!” breaking them up with his titanium heel. Everyone was giving him high-fives, but not me, he just kind of looked at me and gave me this really weird head nod.

No, I’ll try to be better, you’re right. Sometimes I just have to let things go. Like I was going to say something about your shirt, but now I’m not going to. Nothing. Seriously, it’s nothing. It’s a great shirt. I like it. What? Come on, you just gave me a whole big speech about being nice and not saying mean stuff. Well what do you mean? I didn’t telegraph anything. OK wow, well fuck you too buddy. You’re shirt sucks! There, that’s what I was going to say. It sucks. It’s a really stupid shirt. Jerk!

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