God's Comic

God's Comic

Is cancer courageous?

posted by Brad Stine

How
come every time we hear about someone getting cancer it’s usually framed under
the  “courageous battle they’re
fighting” banner? How are you being courageous simply by being diagnosed with a
disease? The fact that you are searching for a cure and trying to remain
positive while under dire circumstances isn’t called courageous, it’s called
not dead yet. Sounds to me more like common sense!

You
really don’t have a whole heck of a lot of options do you? Outside of joining
the French foreign legion there really isn’t anything courageous to do while you’re trying to get healed! Courageous is
the wrong word I think. Hope and persistence in seeking a cure is the more
accurate term I would guess and the only admirable trait is you don’t commit
suicide before it arrives but instead are optimistic about a positive outcome.

Cancer
like other residues of the fall is a disease. For some it will become terminal.
But the truth of life is the moment you are conceived you are terminal. You are
stricken with the ultimate killer disease that is never cured, mortality. The
truth is if we admit it to ourselves is this courageous battle thing is
actually the rest of us thinking if we praise the one with cancer maybe we won’t get it.

We
feel sorry for cancer victims and think heaping accolades on them somehow make
the rest of us invulnerable to it happening to us. The truth is every day you
are alive is one day closer to you being dead. It seems if we all saw life as a
terminal illness it would actually give us as humans the truth perspective we
could all live by.

So if
being told we’re dying is courageous, and since we are all dying then aren’t we
all potentially leading courageous lives. That is if courage means not quitting
or it means always seeking the winning outcome to a game that is already
rigged.

Faith
to me is courageous. I don’t see God like I see humans. I don’t communicate,
understand or feel completely at ease with the way God interacts in my life. I
am told by my faith to HAVE faith in God in order to please Him. As a matter of
fact faith is the only way to please
God by His own words.

 

Just
in case there is anyone out there that believes I’m being insensitive to people
with cancer I should inform you my dad died of it. The cancer that ate his
brain and killed an otherwise healthy man of 59 who was gone within 6 months of
diagnosis was cruel and evil and horrific. It robbed him of his speech, motors-kills
and ability to communicate.

I
hate cancer. But it is real. Death is real. Dying is real and there is nothing
particularly courageous about it since we don’t have a choice to avoid it.
Courage is throwing yourself on a grenade to save your squad when you didn’t
have too. Dying for others when you could have survived is courageous. Death is
handed to us whether we like it or not. Death is leaving this earth too soon
without your consent.

It’s
coming though. Everyone reading this will be dead within a hundred years. True
courage comes with how you live your life to inspire others. How you die is an
extension of this and can be inspiring as well but how you die isn’t your
choice. It is thrust upon you. If you have lived well the dying is a comfort, a
reward for completing the journey. In my opinion dying isn’t courageous…living
is.

 

Do I have to bite my tongue?

posted by Brad Stine

After many years as a “Christian comedian” I
have often been asked if I thought God had a sense of humor? Well here are a
couple examples where I would vote for the affirmative.

In all my many years on earth I can’t begin to
count the times I have bitten my tongue. Everyone has experienced this
annoyance and every time I do it makes me wonder if this is one of God’s great
practical jokes?

Being God and all powerful, when you finally get
around to creating worshipers it probably makes sense to make them somewhat
entertaining. Being Omniscient he also must have anticipated our rebellion and
so worked in the funny stuff as retribution for what was coming. Biting your
tongue being one of these. Why? Because the reason we bite our tongue is
because God designed it to be permanently fixed next to our teeth.

 Uh,
you think He didn’t see this catastrophe potential? Your tongue may be the
softest item on your body, whose job is to manipulate food all the while trying
to avoid the hardest thing on our body, our teeth. TEETH! Their only purpose is
to cut, grind, chew, crush and mutilate food, which normally comes in the same
texture as your tongue.

Just as sharks are known for mistaking surfers
for seals and consequently making meat of them, why would one expect our teeth
to do anything less when it comes to tongue chewing? Heck I have even bitten my
own finger before while putting a morsel of food in my pie hole which not only
hurts but couldn’t possibly make you feel any more stupid.

Another part of our body positioned for maximum
hilarity from Gods front row seat in our comedy of errors is our shins. Shins
are also some of the most sensitive parts of our body and thus were positioned
nice and low on our legs, (technically referred to as “coffee-table height”)
right in the front mind you for maximum damage opportunity.

If God didn’t want us to get hurt he would have
either A) placed then behind our legs where our calves are now so they would
rarely be smashed, or B) armor plate our shins with some kind of protective
shield. They say our body is full of iron that would have been perfect! God
must have foreseen much comedy potential in the leg area since that is also
what our toes inhabit. Toes are so good at smashing into things, especially in
the dark that they actually necessitated the invention of shoes.

Our thighs are ripe for a Charlie horse, which
is perfect for rounding out the leg as a human whoopee cushion for Gods enjoyment.
Of course for men, God initiated a special laugh getter known as the groin in
mixed company. Yeah nothing like taking an organ from inside your body and
putting it on the outside to ensure a lot of potential yuks throughout the year.

Lastly there is the aptly named “funny bone”
which, when struck, is funny only for the observer as opposed to the receiver
who finds nothing funny about it whatsoever. The fact that it was named that
shows that God had this planned all along to find much entertainment from his
creation. Maybe it serves us right after all when we consider what He was
forced to sacrifice on our behalf, and to be fair He did invent gravity so all
of us can enjoy the pleasure of watching somebody slip on the ice. Yeah getting
hurt is kinda funny, as long as it happens to someone else. 

My memories autograph

posted by Brad Stine

I
signed a few autographs at a show the other day and it occurred to me what a
bizarre ritual this is. Fellow humans want you to sign your name and give it to
them as a remembrance of our encounter. I have never asked fans for their
autograph in return but they want mine anyway. Perhaps to document I actually
exist outside a DVD? It’s a keepsake that proves A) I’m not illiterate, and B)
They are willing to humble themselves and ask for a piece of me to take home.

 One wonders if there is any criterion
that legitimizes an autograph? If I decide to sign my name left-handed for
example is that considered a forgery? What if I spell my name wrong or write it
in a way that I never did before? If I use hieroglyphics does it count?

Ancient
tribes used to fear photographs being taken of them because they thought it might
steal their soul. I wonder if the autograph seeker doesn’t lose a part of his
soul by wanting another beings name to revel in? Autographs are a vicarious
thrill for the autograph collector. It is a strange form of idolatry as it
finds value in proving someone they admire was in their presence. It doesn’t
honor the signer as much as lift up the collector by carrying this “talisman”
around to show others who you’ve been next too.

Though
the autograph seeker could conceivably be honoring you by believing your
autograph is valuable and cherished is it what really matters? Or is it instead
the communal encounter of two people who respect each other?  I was in Florida a number of years ago.
I was performing at a comedy club in a hotel there. One day I was walking from
my room to the restaurant outside the hotel and glanced at a man standing in
the parking lot looking towards the building obviously waiting for someone.

I
continued to walk a few more steps and then suddenly, it hit me. That was Ted
Williams! If you are not a baseball fan then that may not mean much to you but
if you are you know that this was the Holy Grail of a sighting. If you could
meet one of the most renowned people in any field of endeavor, a legend, an
icon, that is Ted Williams to
baseball-ophiles. It would be the equivalent of meeting Abraham Lincoln to a
political junkie. He’s Caruso to opera fans, and he’s Moses or Paul to
Christians. He’s that big.

I
have never been star struck and only as a kid did I collect autographs at
baseball games. I didn’t want to bother him but as I strolled further away I
started to evaluate the situation more thoroughly. This is TED WILLIAMS!! My
dilemma was Ted was never known for being gracious and cordial to reporters or
fans. But I said to myself ” I have to meet this guy, what’s the worst that
could happen, he tells me to get lost?”

So I
decided I would go back and if he was still there I would go approach him. I
returned and sure enough there he was so I walked straight up to him and said “excuse
me sir” he looked at me and said “yeah?”, I said ” I just wanted to shake your
hand, I know Ted Williams when I see him”. He kind of half smiled-smirked and
shook my hand. Then I said ” I have a baseball card of yours worth $250.00. He
said ” hang on to it, it’s going to be worth more”. Then I said ” what are you
doing here, golfing?” and he said “yeah” but by this time already he was
checking out of the dialogue and going back to looking for his friend.

I realized
my audience with Ted was over so I walked away. It lasted maybe 30 seconds but
I never forgot it. I didn’t ask for or get his autograph. I just shook his hand
and said I admired him. That is enough for me. That experience is in my head
and heart and will stay there till I die.

We
Christians often consider what we’ll ask God when we get to heaven but rarely
consider what God will ask us when we
get there. I know now. For me the first thing God will say is ” Welcome home
son…now, how in the heck did you not ask for Ted Williams autograph when he’s
standing right there?! What are you stupid?” of which I will have to reply “apparently”.
 

A “Hell” of a word

posted by Brad Stine

I
don’t think people take Hell very seriously anymore. We used too. As a matter
of fact it was one of the reasons why people were nicer years ago because they
didn’t want to go to hell. That was a curse word; literally to tell someone to
go to Hell was bad. Why not? You are condemning someone to an eternal existence
in a place where your flesh is being burned off your skull while demons are
constantly poking your butt with pitchforks. Face it, it would suck. Now hell is apparently a positive word. We even compare places to
it. “Where were you? We went to Disneyland. How was it? Oh it was cool as Hell.
Cool
as hell? Hey, talk about an oxymoron! Cooler
than hell….what isn’t!? You could be standing in the middle of the Sahara
desert in July trapped in an oven and that
would be cooler than Hell. That’s kind of Hells expertise. It’s the hottest
place there is. Everywhere is cooler
than hell. Hell is also applied to recreation. “He had a hell of a game”. What
kind of games you think they have in hell? Probably not running games cause its
hard to run with any speed or grace while trudging through lava. Guess you
could swim since there is a lake of fire. They would have to give you a
handicap I imagine though since it’s harder to paddle stroke when your flesh
keeps melting off your hands. Fleshless bones have never been known for
creating good thrust. How about “He pitched a hell of a game”, yeah but whose
your competition? Hitler’s in Hell. He is fantastic as an evil tyrant but his
fastball was never clocked over 86 and that was when he was warm. Which is all
the time now I’d imagine. “He had a hell of a good time” is also suspect of
course. Who has a good time in eternal torture and torment? Maybe the Marquis
de Saad I suppose? How about for us comedians? I once performed at a curse free
comedy week with Jeff Allen at the Improv in Tempe Arizona. There was a couple
that came to the window saw that the show was clean and actually had a
discussion as to whether they should stay. They of course suffer from the
delusion perpetrated by hack “comedians” that have come down the pike in recent
years that believe dirty, offensive, crass, blue, shocking, crude and expletive
driven “comedy” makes up for poor writing and delivery. Every comic on earth
knows it is harder to write clean than dirty. Anyway this couple ends up
staying for the show and after seeing my set came out to the lobby to
compliment me. The man put his arm around my shoulder and said, and I quote “We
didn’t think you guys would be funny but you were funnier than hell!” The irony
was lost on him I am sure not to mention the backhanded compliment! Listen all
you newbie comics, if you perform a set that hell was funnier than…you may want
to consider accounting.  

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