6 Things That Are Far Sadder Than They Should Be
A few months ago, I wrote a column about everyday things that were much sadder than they ought to be. Why sadder? Because a list of things that were just as sad as you'd expect would include entries like terminal cancer and genocide. It's not really the best comedy fodder, even for the worst people in the world (the Internet).
So over the last few months, I've been living my life while keeping a list of all the little things that make me feel disproportionately sad. Then I deleted all the entries that involved Cracked's Soren Bowie pretending to have any ethnicity and, voila, a new Cracked list was born!
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
There are all sorts of cookies in this world. Oreos, black and white, rainbow and even those weird tubey ones that your Grandma might pull out on a special occasion. (Yes, I know your Grandma. She's a heck of a sweet kid. You should call her more often.) Anyway, despite all these tasty cookie creations, most kind-hearted non-weirdos can agree that homemade chocolate chip cookies are just about the greatest things in the world. (Second only maybe to your Grandma's smile, bless her heart.)
"You should Facebook share that Gladstone's columns more. He's a fine young man."
Yet inexplicably, there are occasions when people take the time to make cookies and don't make chocolate chip. I can't pretend to understand the workings of such a mind, but, hey, it's a free country, I guess. If some freak wants to make Christmas cookies or M&M cookies or something, I can accept that. But what I can't understand -- and what I will not accept -- is a world where people are free to make oatmeal raisin cookies. And not just because such a concoction is dangerously close to being healthful, but because it's a tease. Do you know how many times I've gotten excited about the prospect of eating a chocolate chip cookie, only to find out it's oatmeal raisin? Me either. One sec, let me ask your Grandma. Ten! Ten times.
Not to engage in hyperbole, but that's like coming home to find what you believe is a naked Megan Fox in your bed only to discover it's a plate of oatmeal raisin cookies.
I think I may have messed that example up.
Old People With Shoes But No Socks
In truth, I'm not sure this one actually belongs on the list because it might be understandably sad, but I'm including it anyway, and not just because the last time I handed in a list with only five entries, Jack O'Brien flashed those hurt Jared Leto puppy dog eyes that broke my heart.
"Hey, buddy. You don't want to make me sad, do you?"
I'm including it because you've probably seen sockless, shoe-wearing geriatrics many times in your life and not thought much of it. Hey, they're the greatest generation. If they want to rock their shoes sans sock, so be it! But here's the sad truth behind this phenomenon. Y'see, it's a lot easier to slip on Velcro Payless loafers than bend over and put on some socks. Or to pull your foot up to your thigh. But it would be easy to do if you had some help. Yep. Every time you see an elderly person without socks, you know you're witnessing someone on the road to dying alone.
Yeah, that's legit sad. It doesn't really fit the list -- you're right. But seriously, when you make Jack happy, not even sunglasses can hide the love that flows from this man's peepers.
"Six entries! Thanks, buddy."
Someone Remaking Your Joke
This one's a little difficult to explain. It's sort of like when people are stupid enough to answer a rhetorical question, but somehow far worse. It actually happens to me on Twitter a lot, and it always bums me out. I make a joke and then one of my followers replies, making the same joke while thinking they're adding to it. Now, I'm not going to give any examples from my account, because I think anyone who follows me on Twitter is the smartest and sexiest person alive and undeserving of such ridicule. Also, I don't have the patience to scroll through all my nonsense. So instead, I'll use Photoshop to create the illusion that Adam Tod Brown is not funny because, seriously, screw that guy.
And Adam will reply:
Or let's say I tweet:
And then comes the reply:
I was gonna do a third example, because comedy writers like to do that, but those last two have already saddened me so greatly that I'm starting to swallow my tongue. Also, Adam might beat me to death if I libel him any further.
For those who don't know, Dave Mustaine was the original lead guitarist of Metallica and then the frontman of his own successful heavy metal band Megadeth. By all accounts, he is an incredibly lucky man. Why? Well, he's been affiliated with two of the most successful metal bands of all time despite being a lackluster talent. He should just be happy all the time. It would be like if U2 kicked out bassist Adam Clayton for sucking and Adam somehow went on to front a band that had some hits and successful tours.
But is Dave Mustaine happy? No. He's the whiniest of all little bitches. First, I was willing to give him some slack. Even if you think Metallica's a great band, it's pretty clear that James Hetfield and especially Lars Ulrich are absolutely insufferable douchebags, and it seems they fired Dave in a typically douchebaggy way (even if some believe that Kirk Hammett is a more technically proficient guitarist). But then I saw this:
Instead of saying "Hey, you said I was a no good drunk, and I made a successful career without you!" he's still crying. How can you live with yourself knowing you let a Danish fuckpuppet like Lars make you sad? Clearly, that's a man with a deep feeling of inadequacy. A giant hole to fill. First he filled it with booze, and now it seems he's filled it with Jesus. How much Jesus? He's officially endorsed Rick Santorum for president. Right now scientists and 14-year-old girls are working around the clock to invent a new emoticon for how sad that is.
Ice Cream Cone Malfunction
Living in New York, you see sad stuff all the time. I've walked past homeless dudes who seem like they're legitimately starving. I've been confronted by distinct mental illness in the middle of Times Square. But these legit sufferings pale in comparison to a little kid losing his ice cream cone. It could be the top scoop that is licked off before it splats to the ground below. It can be the crushed cone that sends the ice cream goodness tumbling. It really doesn't matter how it happens. But a little kid losing his ice cream kills me more than a little kid not having ice cream.
I think most people must feel this way, because even at McDonald's, the epitome of edible capitalism, I've seen them replace ice cream cones for children. And that's really saying something. This makes me so sad that if you sent me back in time and showed me a little Lars Ulrich losing his ice cream, I would totally buy him a new one, right before I beat him severely and threatened to kill his puppy if he ever started a band.
To this very day, in time machine world, ice cream makes Lars very happy and then inexplicably afraid.
The Old Guy in the Office Who Wants to Start a Band
I spent most of my teens and early 20s playing in bands. I've spent most of my adult life working in offices. You'll notice I put a period between those two sentences. That's because they have nothing to do with each other. Currently, I work with one of my best friends, and he is the greatest bass player with whom I've ever had the pleasure to jam. Know how many bands we've started? Zero. Zero bands. And that's because there is nothing sadder than being the old guy in the office who wants to start a band. The guy who daydreams about hitting it big and quitting could elicit tears from a newlywed on his wedding night who's just learned that his wife is loaded and into three-ways with her shapely Scandinavian friend.
"That's great news, honey, but still ... I'm cold. Soooo cold."
This guy's concept of a rock star doesn't even exist anymore. Rightly or wrongly, the Net has destroyed the business of selling records, and touring is more important than ever in becoming financially viable. Yet this guy thinks he can play his '80s Casio keyboard, grab the chick at reception as a singer, add the new guy on guitar, convince the black dude down the hall to play bass and boom, record an album that will make him an overnight millionaire. That's sadder than someone who wastes all his limited pay on lottery tickets ... probably because you can be a middle-aged, fat, bald guy and still win the lottery.
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