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Face it.

Unless you happen to have a magical genie hidden behind all the clutter in that hallway closet, life can be a real pain in our big old derrieres sometimes. Personally, I think of it as a weird, inadvertent lottery where losers are declared on any given day and, at some or often many points, you and I are among the ranks. Seriously. Not to get you down, but layoffs, illnesses, bereavement, and a whole plethora of other misfortunes, both great and small, are waiting on the Shelf O’ Destiny on any given day. And you, you lucky bastard, just might have one or more of these things dropped in your lap from out of the blue.

Congratulations and kindly hold your trophy away from you, so it doesn’t get all rusty from that unseemly bucket-load of tears you are now openly shedding.

But, Jen, you might be asking…why such a crappy post? All you’ve done so far is just make me feel horrible. Like I’m destined to be miserable at some point. Ummm…yeah, well, have I mentioned I am not a motivational speaker? No? Oh, I probably should have put the hedge language in here a bit earlier, just in case you were operating under some kind of misconception. Better late than never I suppose:

Hedge language: (Ahem) I, Jennifer Fales, am not nor have I ever claimed to be a motivational speaker. Furthermore, rumors of my sanity may have also been greatly exaggerated. Plus, I really should be kept away from Brussels sprouts. I mean it, too. Don’t feed them to me, because they give me gas. Horrible, bowels of hell, sulfuric-stench-coma-inducing gas.

Anyhoo, now that the hedge-y stuff is out of the way, there is still an odd sort of hope to be had here. Some call it gallows humor, some irreverence and others, just good old sarcasm. Label it what you like, but I can giggle at anything. Ask anyone that knows me well. They will tell you, at the worst point of everything, in the proverbial eye of the storm, I will find a way to laugh and try my damnedest to make you laugh with me. There may be tears in our eyes but, damn it all to H.E. Double Hockey Sticks, we are going to laugh them away for the interim if I have anything to say about it.

My perfect example here—because I figured you’d need one—would be my grandfather’s funeral many years ago. At the very least, the way I remember it. I cried through the entire service, eyes watering, nose red, the whole nine yards. Afterward, we were all sitting outside in our cars watching five or six pallbearers struggle to place this gigantic casket into a hearse, so we could get on with the funeral procession. The hearse was a Ford, for the record. Once the mission was accomplished, we all started our engines and you know what happened next? Not a darned thing. So, there we were, all sitting and waiting and silently wondering what in the heck was going on. Eventually, someone pulled a second hearse around—a Chevy, this time. And those same five or six poor guys, already drenched in sweat from the humidity, had to wrestle that casket back out. Once they had it out, they had to lug it over to hearse #2 or, as I like to call it, “the backup hearse” — all the while not cursing their backs, or the heat, or some weasel at a car dealership that sold a funeral home that good-for-nothing hearse. No, sir.  Buckingham Palace changing of the guard funereal sobriety was still required of these poor bastards in the sweltering heat of a South Georgia summer afternoon.

As I recall, my grandfather was a Chevy man — I was most certainly a Chevy woman, and working in the auto parts industry at the time. Whether or not the first part about my grandfather was 100% accurate, that’s what I was thinking at the time, and I caught a case of the giggles you wouldn’t believe. I just pictured him, looking down, shaking his head and saying something like, “See? That’s what you get. Should have done it right the first time and put me in a Chevy.”

Preference of car makers aside (Ford having cleaned up its act in the past decade or more), the point is this: I giggled, guffawed and cackled my way to feeling better that day where other folks were probably just mortified. And, believe me, Papa (because that’s what we called him) would have approved.

Now. You can call me a jester, or a jerk, even a jackass (technically, that should be a jenny ass, since I’m female—and smart ass because I just said that) if you like. Any name will do, I don’t care. It certainly isn’t going to change my behavior and, if judging me is what makes you feel better, I say have at it. As for me, I prefer a kinder label for all this irreverence (see #3 below). And I recommend you try it or hang out with someone who is fluent in the language for a while, to learn:

noun ir·rev·er·ence \i-ˈrev-rənts, ˌi(r)-, -ˈre-və-; -ˈre-vərn(t)s\
Definition of IRREVERENCE
1:  lack of reverence
2:  an irreverent act or utterance
3: the unbridled tenacity of the human spirit

So, what’s the point of all this rambling?  

It’s simple:

The next time the world takes another big steaming dump on your shoulder, and all you can do is curl up in a ball and cry, I want you to think about Papa and the backup hearse. Then turn on the TV and find something incredibly silly, or slap on an old Halloween costume and look at yourself in the mirror, better yet call some jackass like me and demand to be entertained.

Laughter is a balm to soothe the aching heart and the tired soul, my friends. So, when all else fails, you do not give up.

You just laugh.