June 5, 2017
"I recognize terror as the finest emotion and so I will try to terrorize the reader. But if I find that I cannot terrify, I will try to horrify, and if I find that I cannot horrify, I'll go for the gross-out. I'm not proud."I've long thought that Stephen King's horror philosophy could be applied to comedy. To wit: If one cannot amuse via sophisticated wordplay or subtle humor, one is always free to go for the gross-out. Sure.
Flapjack obviously feels that way, or at least he felt that way at age 7, as evidenced by the above comic. (Look, poop jokes are funny.) And just to show that I'm not always above such crudities, I'll relay the following incident that occurred four years later:
I was driving the boys somewhere, and they were being silly and annoying in equal measure in the backseat. "Shh," I advised them, and then I quoted Dr. Evil from Austin Powers: "Let me tell you a little story about a man named Shh! Shh! even before you start. That was a pre-emptive 'shh!' Now, I have a whole bag of 'shh!' with your name on it."
"Daddy," Flapjack said, suddenly quiet and serious, "it sounded like you were going to say 'bag of shit.'"
At that point, I decided to go for broke, and (channeling my inner George Carlin), I said, somewhat philosophically: "Why would you have a bag of shit? What would you be doing with a bag of shit in the first place? Where would you get it? Would you squat over a bag and shit in it yourself? Or maybe you would take a lot of shit from someplace else and put it in a bag? Why would you do that? Would it be dog shit? Or people shit? Or a mix of shit?"
It went on in this vein for a short time, all the while the children becoming more and more apoplectic, wheezing and hyperventilating in hysterical laughter. I honestly don't believe I've ever seen either of them laugh so hard. "You have to stop," Otter finally managed to choke out. "I can't breathe!"
To quote Stephen King, "I'm not proud."
(But also, I'm a little proud.)