Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Dark humor

I usually corner the market on dark humor at my workplace. But today I was wildly outdone by a longtime co-worker who, while not above an occasional light joke, is hardly the person you would pick for the part.

It was shockingly dark.

You might want to brace yourself.

It started with me working up a little comic idea, probably with the idea of testing it around to a few of my co-workers, and then putting it up here for you to read.

The idea was a bit of a take off on some kid's book series we have. One in particular is The Bailey School Kids wherein each book involves a possible but maybe not mythological figure involved in an everyday adult endeavor. Books like Vampires Don't Wear Polka Dots, or Santa Claus Doesn't Mop Floors. This gave me an idea for a contemporary series of my own.

Increasingly today's children have to deal with adults who have horrifying political beliefs. They may be their family's friendly mechanic, or perhaps their Doctor who now, it currently turns out, irrationally hates foreigners, black people, women, and or homosexuals. Or maybe they have a soft spot for the Klan, or Fascism. Or if they're Republican, probably some lighthearted version of all of the above.

You look at your friendly neighborhood grocer and think "No, that can't be. She's so friendly and warmhearted" And I, ever the optimist, am inclined to agree with you, but the current numbers tell a different story. They say there is a 42 percent chance we are wrong

And so my new book series addresses this confusing evil in our midst with titles like:

Janitor Taysit is a racist


Auntie Jen White is an Anti-Semite


Mr. Plozzi is a Nazi

Well, I'm still working on it. But I shared my idea with my co-worker who, quite familiar with Children's Lit, both understood and liked my idea. I presented my book title: Auntie Jen White is an Anti-Semite (it only works if you say it the right way), and, as she warmed to it she came up with this astonishing tagline:

She's not just baking cookies in her ovens!


It was funny, but I also enjoyed recognizing the look on her face, not least because I've had it on my own face so many times in the past. 

It was something like "I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to say things like that. I hope it was funny enough to be worth it."

I can never tell.

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