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The power of the Joke

April 28, 2012

Shirley was in love with the joke. If It was funny, she’d say it. Inappropriate? offensive? Didn’t matter.

If anyone knew about her, they dismissed her as not real. But the joke… the joke was something that had power to transform into something else, the power to become real. We watched it happen a few times.

Here’s an Example: My best guy friend and my best female friend fought like married people. The rest of us in the group used to make fun of them about it, saying they were secretly in love. At the time the guy was so crude and in recovery from some stuff, it was so ridiculous that she would be interested in him. Her and I thought he was creepy when we first started hanging out. As time went on and the more we joked about it, as he got better and she got to know him more, things started to change between them. We suspected something and called them on it but it was denied until maybe four months later they were like “Ha, you got us. We have been together a while now.”  I had a girl-to-girl chat with her and she said it was actually the joking that kind of got things started in her mind, changed how she saw him.

You might say: “Yeah, but the two people involved made it happen. The joke influenced them.”

I’ve got another example, a teacher I know well went down to the lockers where their checks usually sat and instead of a check-shaped envelope it was square, like the kind pink slips come in. Lingering over the sealed envelope joked with a co-worker: “Watch, this is going to be worse than a pink slip, It’ll be worse than getting fired! They’re going to make us keep working and not pay us.” And lo and behold it was the first of many notes explaining the school had limited funding and would pay them as soon as the parents paid the tuitions and the government funding got in. This pattern of late checks and half payments has lasted the entire school year, and had rarely been a problem in the years beforehand.

Perhaps some jokes are a matter of precognition, perhaps of coincidence, perhaps it’s God’s sense of humor. We all can attest to how many times you have said “I will never do this.” And then you do. I think our words have power, and I think the joke is an extention of the “I will never” phenomenon. 

My brother and I used to joke about making this movie about a kid with schizophrenia. He would hallucinate a sexy curvy woman who always wore a red dress, her name is Life and Life’s a bitch. She’d say stuff like “See those stairs right there?” Uh…yeah? “You’re about to fall down them.” what? No I’m no—-ahhhhhh, oof.

There was also a literal knight in shining armor who tackled life like a college professor. Main character was confused about it, because he’s not a girl and doesn’t want a knight in shining armor. However the knight and him become friends, and helps him deal with Life, metaphorically and literally. In the end the boy finds goals outside his inner world and begins to leave them behind in pursuit of a real life. Life finally get packs her bags and heads to hollywood where she inspires a screen writer to write her character as the lead role in a tv show or movie. I’ve got old notebooks full of plans for this movie.

It’s a very thinly veiled re-writing of my life with a magical fairy tale ending I never thought would happen. But it did. Forgive me for posting about Ruby Sparks again but I’m still flabbergasted. Friends of mine who knew Shirley don’t even know what to say, except there are too many coincidences to dismiss. I’d have them collaborate my story but honestly, people who don’t want to believe it will just say I made another account or something.

A few coincidences I can ignore, but when you have scores and scores of them it’s not as easy to dismiss. I realize all of this is anecdotal and not at all scientific, but I’m not putting it forth as proof, I’m sketching an idea study and calling for further study. Look into your own life to find your proof there. I would love if someone could dream up a controlled scientific experiment to test it. But if you can add a little suspension of disbelief, a little imagination that precognition is possible albeit rare, that sometimes coincidences point to a larger truth, perhaps we can go someplace new as humans. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

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