TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — Searching For Humor

What the hell. What am I supposed to do with this mess?

I try. I look out at the world, read the news and try to find the bright side. When someone pees in my cornflakes I say, “That’s all right, I don’t like cornflakes, anyway.” But when in Russia, do as the Russians do.

I don’t actually hate cornflakes. I’m more or less neutral. Like Sweden. Or Heidi Heitkamp. It’s hard to get passionate about corn flakes. In fact, that was the whole point of corn flakes.

Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, the Seventh-Day Adventist who created cornflakes, did so as a cure for the “solitary vice.” On this topic, the Catholics are in agreement. If the Lutherans ever stop drinking beer, we’ll ask them, too.

“You’ll go blind,” people warned us when we were kids. “It makes hair grow on your palms,” Ricky Head announced in study hall one day and without a hint of irony, every one of us inspected our hands. When I look at Stevie Wonder, I think, “It’s his own damn fault.” Helen Keller was way out of control.

Kellogg was against sex altogether. I’m not good at math, but if cornflakes get trendy, I don’t think it bodes well for the species. I’m pretty sure cornflakes killed the dinosaurs.

We’re on the ropes, anyway. Apparently, some people think we aren’t overheating the climate fast enough. The future is coal. And black lung. Others are juggling nuclear weapons and foreign policy with the acumen of a $25 birthday party clown. Who hired John Wayne Gacy? Oh wait, that’s his real hair.

There are things you can try to spice up your love life. Yohimbe, Horny Goat Weed, ginseng or a Porsche. I’m not sure a jacked-up pickup with straight pipes impresses anyone with teeth, but it scares the deer off the road.

Cornflakes are a bad bet. I suppose you could try luring someone over to your apartment with the promise of Netflix and cornflakes. It’s probably never been tried.

After I read the history of cornflakes — clearly, I have too much time on my hairy hands — I began to resent corn growers. Geez, folks, plant soybeans. Don’t be a prude. Every time I drive by a cornfield, I think, “They must be Seventh-Day Adventists.”

The last thing we need is more cornflakes. Or Rice Krispies, unless it involves melted marshmallows. That’s a whole ‘nother deal.

Writing is like baking. Taking life’s bland or overlooked ingredients and making something tasty out of them. But I can’t find much humor in this week’s ingredients. Mostly irony.

We’ll use a missile strike to avenge the use of chemical weapons because we have rules for war. It’s not so much that we’re against killing, it’s about methodology. We’ll drag you to Nuremberg, if you kill in an uncivilized fashion.

You can do it in a uniform, but you can’t do it in a clown suit. Beheading is bad, a drone strike is civilized. Euthanasia is wrong. Lethal injection is humane.

Some people are OK with Muslims drowning, as long as they don’t wash up on our shores because of our strict new immigration policies. Some believe if we’re going to pollute the oceans, it should be with oil and plastic. At least corpses are biodegradable.

Some want to pollute more because it will be good for the economy. Especially for doctors specializing in respiratory diseases. Who needs lungs?

Others say every fertilized egg is a child of God but are against universal health care. It’s about principles, not life expectancy.

Jesus demanded a co-pay and a deductible from every leper. The whole Blue Cross deal started with him. It’s in the Book of Job, as in, “Thou shalt gettest thee a Job, thy welfare queens with thy Obama phones — and buyeth thine own insurance, while thou art at it. Cursed be the losers.” Amen.

Many have curious notions about freedom, too. They want to inspect your bedroom, your bathroom and your ISP. Otherwise, everyone would be walking around with hairy palms. There are rules for war and sex.

Some weeks, you search for humor and find only irony.

© Tony Bender, 2017

2 thoughts on “TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — Searching For Humor”

  • Diana Esta Green April 15, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Great piece pulled from the air. Corn flakes?? Hairy Hands?? and THE CLOWN. Man it IS a mess isn’t it?
    Is THAT really where corn flakes came from??
    Oh, well, so much for that.

  • Brian Volk April 15, 2017 at 8:17 am

    “Methodology”. Brilliant….but sad and ironic. Thank you for this.


Leave a Reply