I’ll admit it; I’m hooked on those videos of people making idiots out of themselves. I have laughed until my stomach ached over people doing things that you just know will end badly. The Germans have a wonderful word for this: schadenfreude (pronounced shad-den-froi-da), which means enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others. I’m not proud of this, but, as my dad would say, ‘there you go.’
I have nearly laughed myself into incontinence over videos of people doing things like this:
- Roof Dive: The drunken guys who decide it would be tons of fun to get up on the roof in winter and jump headfirst into a snow bank. The outcome is obvious.
- If the guy on TV did it, so can I: The skateboarder who decides to hop up on a metal railing on his skateboard and ends up slipping and knocking his family jewels up into the vicinity of his throat.
- You’re never too old to slip n’ slide: The guy who takes a running leap and jumps on down his kids’ slip n’ slide, runs out of slip n’ slide and comes to a stop on the grass, with his bathing suit down around his ankles.
- Girl on the rocks: The girl who poses herself on the rocks at the ocean to take a selfie. In positioning herself just right for the perfect picture, she fails to notice a huge wave coming straight for her. The next shot is of her going butt over teakettle into the water after the wave knocked her off the rocks. Her cell phone did not survive.
- What could possibly go wrong? A guy is helping his friends move. One guy has a large bookcase that he decides is too much trouble to lug down the stairs. So he balances it on the railing on the porch and calls to his friend, “catch!” The bookcase hurtles to the ground and smashes to smithereens in the driveway because the guy on the ground was too busy picking his nose to get ready.
- Dad, is it winter yet? The kid who can’t wait to use his new skis, so puts them on and “skiis” down the stairs. He did all right until he got to the wall; the skiis went through the wall and he did a face plant against what was left of the wall.
- Doughnut girl: She read somewhere that drinking a beer and eating a doughnut at the same time is a great snack. After downing the beer and a glazed doughnut, she experienced what can only be called “runaway yeast bloat.” Yep, she was sick as a dog for hours on end.
If you haven’t checked this out already, go read the stories from the Darwin Awards web site. There are hundreds of epic tales of those who didn’t think things through and ended up being dumped out of the gene pool.
The moral of this? That reading or watching videos of people doing dumb things is riot, as long as you’re not the person doing it. Or as Mel Brooks once said, “tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.”