Monday, 11 July 2011

As Funny As Cancer

Early today, if you had spied me walking along my road towards Waitrose, you would have seen me pause for a moment, make a fist with my right hand, and punch the palm of my left before pressing on with my journey and wondering whether to blog about that moment.

Y'see, in that moment, I had a regret.

The best part of 8 years ago, I said something stupid. And it's one of the things that whenever I remember the moment, I go all cold inside, and wish the earth would swallow me up. Even now, 8 years on. I doubt anyone else remembers it. I've apologised for it, and I have kicked myself - literally and metaphorically - for it many times since.

I suppose I wish the humorous pay-off to all of this was something merely inane and pointless. It's not. It was a joke about cancer on the day of a friend's relative's funeral. Who had died of cancer. To my friend's face. Which, as you can probably imagine, is about as funny as... cancer.

I can't even remember particularly why I did it. I could claim I was trying to lighten the mood (with jokes about cancer?! Yes, that's HOT stuff, right there) but I probably wasn't. I'm fairly sure I was in the eternal pursuit of a laugh, which is something that has trailed me through me life. Presentations? Sermons? This blog? All done for laughs.

Yesterday, at a birthday party with old friends who have seen me go from cute little nerdy kid to the person I am today (make your own jokes...), I was asked several times what the future held in store for me. I struggled, on every occasion, not to make light of their concern. They genuinely wanted to know how to help, how to pray, what they could do. All I could do was respond with sardonic grunts and jokes about becoming homeless.

Which, when I think about it, is kinda funny. Well, funnier than cancer, anyway.

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