Archive for May 2008

Getting offended by crib death or cancer

No one reads this site, not even me, so sorry for anyone sitting in the comment queue waiting for moderation. It sometimes takes a while before I get around to approving comments. I get a fair amount of comment spam which is why I have moderation turned on. I assure you, I only delete spam, and edit out foul language with an “[expletive deleted]” tag, so feel free to disagree with me all you want. Freedom, baby.

A new obsenity-filled comment has just been posted in response to this post.

You know, I actually do feel bad that people get offended by anything on this site. Not enough to remove the offending post though, because this is the Internet, and people probably shouldn’t be on it if they get this upset at an element of an inconsequential post on an unknown site. I don’t believe in being intentionally offensive, but this is sorta collateral damage.

That post of mine was not a joke about crib death but a meta-joke about a joke about crib death. And in response to the all-caps question, “NOW WHAT IF SOMETHING HAPPENS TO THAT BEAUTIFUL BABY OF YOURS? THEN HOW WOULD YOU FEEL?” I would feel terrible, of course. Duh.

My baby is now 10 months old and is simply delightful. I am only now getting over the fear that she’ll just stop breathing. I still check for breathing when she naps, but in more of a cursory way now. I have not lost a child and have no idea what it is like. I’ve imagined how it must feel many times, I have that fatherly fear thing going “I love my family OH NO what if something happens? How did it happen that I’m responsible for other people? I still play with toys!”

So, I am not callous to the idea of SIDS. It’s simply so awful that I must joke about it, to reduce my own worry. If my baby died, I’d probably stop making crib death jokes (I’ve only made 2 in my whole life, they just got the worst reaction.) I’d also not find it funny if someone told me a crib death joke.

But, would it stop that “dead crib” joke from being funny? No, it would not.

If anyone reading this has lost a child, of course you don’t find anything about that funny. And if I told you, specifically you, such a joke, you’d be well within your rights to haul off and punch me in the nose.

But I didn’t tell you. I don’t know you. I told the Internet. If you can get that offended, you shouldn’t be here.

My mother had cancer. When She had surgery, She awoke in the recuperation room to find me there. My first words to Her were “Oh, you’re alive. I guess I owe the Old Man twenty bucks.”

Now, you’ll have to take my word for it that both She and I found this funny. See, I wouldn’t say it to anyone else, but with Her I could joke. (Sometimes.)

Unfortunately the cancer came back a few years later and She’s dead. She’s been dead for almost 5 years now, and I still miss Her.

And cancer jokes are still funny to me. So, go figure.

In closing, save your offense for things that are intentionally offensive. There’s plenty of stuff that offends where people mean it to offend. They’re the jerks you should be yelling at.