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Humor: Remedy or Artificial Getaway

Essay by   •  January 29, 2014  •  Essay  •  1,366 Words (6 Pages)  •  2,328 Views

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Humor: Remedy or Artificial Getaway

Wherever you are there will always be two things in this world, sickness and racism, but the way you deal with them makes you who become. For many people humor is a coping device to both, however, others find laughter hard to deal with in times of despair. When Jimmy finds out he has an incurable disease he leans on his crutch of humor. Trying to use it to explain it to his wife, Norma, he comes off on the wrong side and it scares her. Scarred and confused Norma turns and runs away from the problem. Through flashbacks Jimmy reminisces on the important times in his life and explains how humor helped him get past the hardships he faced, not only the sickness, but also the racism in his life. On his deathbed Norma returns in time to spend the last few days with the love of her life.

When Jimmy found out he had terminal cancer the first thing he turned to was humor. A witty remark or two was the only fall back Jimmy had in life. When his life was halted to a stop, he had two choices in life. He could have either accepted that he was going to die and turn into a cold-hearted soul or he could have made the rest of his days count in a joyous mood. Jimmy opted to choose the second. From the beginning of the story Jimmy could not help himself, and with every moment he got he made a joke. It is either at the expense of himself or his Aboriginal heritage. Humor if used properly can be used as a remedy, but if used wrong it could be taken in the wrong context and separate you from others. Not everyone is able to use it appropriately though. When Jimmy came to telling his wife about the cancer he referred to his tumor as a baseball, in both size and shape. Not only that, Jimmy used his humor negatively. "No really. I told her to call me Babe Ruth. Or Roger Maris. Or maybe even Hank Aaron..."(2) This referred to fact that when Hank Aaron was about to pass Babe Ruth's home run record, he was looked down upon and he started to receive death threats. This was not the best analogy he could have used when he explained the terrible news to his wife, Norma.

Some people cannot cope with tragedy in the same way as Jimmy. Norma is one example of that type of person. She actually handled it in the polar opposite. When things do not go the exact way that she planned, she ran. She used it as an escape from the negatives, but only till they caught up with her. It is not the healthiest way to handle a problem, because sooner or later it will come back to haunt you. In the beginning of the story Norma was approached by Jimmy and when she was told about his illness she did not know what to do. Jimmy turned it into a joke and Norma could not come to terms with it. As a getaway she gave him an ultimatum. "If you say anything funny ever again, I'm going to leave you, Norma said. And I'm serious about that." In the heat of the moment Jimmy could not control himself and let out one of his best one liners. Enraged Norma slapped him, first confused she gave a concerned look but slightly after she stormed out of his life. Jimmy started to glance back at his past and the moments that led him to this day.

Flashbacks in Jimmy's life allow the reader to find out about important times in his life. One recollection is when Norma and him first set eyes on one another at the Powwow Tavern; it was the same tavern that she stormed out of moments before. Since the night Norma and Jimmy first met they were inseparable, at least that's how Jimmy felt. He wanted nothing more then to spend the rest of his life with her but Norma saw it differently. As Jimmy recalled, "But that's how Norma operated.

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