Friday, December 29, 2006

Gallows humor

What better way to celebrate the holidays than gallows humor? In my last post, I used gallows humor in discussing my sons' accident. Chris Uggen referred to it when talking about his son's wrestling match.

Two questions:

1) Why do we do it?

2) What's your best gallows-humor story?

I'll give you my favorite... About a month ago I spoke with a young man who is a member of a NCAA hockey team who told me this story. During practice, one player skated over the hand of another player, cutting through the glove and severing the finger so that it was hanging downward from just a fold of skin. The trainer came over, looked at the injured player's dangling finger, and pronounced that it was just a sprain and that he would tape it up so that the player should be able to finish practice. (Of course the player was rushed to the hospital).

(I suppose a third question would regard the moral deficiencies of those who laugh hard at gallows humor, but to protect the guilty, I'll not ask it.)


Knumb said...


When I was working my way back from a knee injury in the Navy, on my way to getting my commission, I aggrivated it on a morning run.

Lying on the ground, writhing in pain, I looked up to see the gold tooth of Gunnery Sgt. Kent in shining in the dim, pre-dawn light.

"Hey, Wright, you gonna live or are we gonna have to find the elephant that just stepped on your balls?"

He was just kidding. He helped me into the sick, lame, lazy and crazy van, to watch the rest of the run in the sticky-vinyl comfort of a Ford van's bench seat. The knee was back at it the next day.

brewright said...


If you can't find comfort for affliction from your gunnery sgt., who can you find it from?