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  • Playing God, a Funny Proposition

    Posted on October 11th, 2012 Patricia No comments

    Only a month or two after my father passed away (it’s all a blur to me now), I went in for some lighthearted humor in Hermosa Beach, California at the Comedy and Magic Club where Jay Leno does his thing almost every Sunday night during the summer months.

    Still feeling as though I was in a state of shock — my body hadn’t yet un-wound from the stress of law school finals, starting up in the new summer semester only after a week’s vacation, knowing that I was way too grief stricken to stand a chance of keeping my scholarship, and of course dealing with the shock of seeing my father’s innocent face as he lay on his death bed after his year and a half battle with multiple myeloma. In other words, I still felt dismantled, a little numb, and removed from the world. I was not entirely present, and still experienced flashbacks of the hospital room when I arrived only 10 minutes after my father’s passing away. My friends brought me to the comedy club to make me smile again.

    I was hoping that a little bit of comedy would loosen me up in fact, helping me to get my sense of humor back and to distract me from the pain of my grief with a little bit of laughter – I can always count on the Comedy and Magic Club for a good laugh.

    One of the first jokes Jay Leno came out with dealt with death.

    “Oh boy! Just what I wanted to hear, just a little bit of sentiment to get my tears flowing, oh geez, … get me out of here, … I cannot believe this, … how did Jay know that I was coming tonight, crap, I don’t want to get all sad again, … this is not fair,” I thought.

    Now I know the joke is all in the delivery and I know I cannot possibly say it in the same exact words as Jay, but here I go with my own version:

    Isn’t it funny how people think they have the power to make the decisions of God? When my neighbor’s grandmother died from a heart attack, they might have thought, “Oh, what a shame. She was how old? … 96, oh, well alright then.”

    “Your Uncle Larry had a stroke? He was 75? Oh well, he lived a nice long life, (thumbs down, let him go!)”.

    “Joe Schmo passed away last night, … yeah, that’s too bad, but at least he made it to sixty-eight and managed to have a few years of retirement, let him go.”

    To tell you the truth, I cannot remember the exact words of the joke, but I hope you get the general idea. A few tears welled up in my eyes as I chuckled about the appropriateness and timeliness of his joke. I felt the silence in the theater, as I am sure some of the older folks in the crowd had gone through the same thing in their lives.

    Who has the right say whether or not it isn’t such a big deal when a loved one leaves us? It’s true that people mean well when they say, “Oh, he was seventy-seven? Well, he lived a full life and his time was due.” I suspect they realize that no matter the age, that person will be missed and the family did not want that person to go. Yes, we know our lost loved ones are in a better place, but it still makes us sad to think of their suffering and wonder how they are doing now.

    So, I appreciate the encouraging words, yet hope that the real God did not take my father’s passing away lightly, even though he did live a full life with three hole-in-one’s in his seventy-fifth year.

    I just think it’s pretty funny that, as Jay Leno might utter on stage, “Some people think they have the right to play God.”

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