In one of her stand up shows, Joan Rivers told a story about how her husband’s suicide affected their daughter: she hadn’t spoken for days, and she didn’t make eye contact, only staring at the ground, peering through her fringe. One evening they were at dinner together, at a fancy restaurant, and as she looked at the menus, Joan said to her daughter, ‘If daddy hadn’t already killed himself, seeing these prices would have made him do it now!’ To which her daughter smiled and made eye contact for the first time since her father’s death.
A friend was very ill for a month or so in hospital, being visited by an endless round of grapes toting, sideways head tilting and sympathetic simpering friends, until his best friend turned up, plonked herself in the seat, looked around the room and said, ‘You look like sh*t, when you getting out so we can have a drink? Where can I have a fag?’ It was the first time he’d smiled since being admitted to hospital.
I try to use this approach in my writing.
Do you have any examples of using humour in dark times? Or do you think it's totally inappropriate? I'd love to hear from you.
Until next time