Yahoo! Answers: Where mean-spirited and uncreative people go to get advice:
I laughed at the idiocy and wickedness of this response (as well as the legitimacy of the “source”)
But apparently, it was exactly what the doctor ordered:
In stumbling upon this page, I am reminded of one of the funniest things I have ever heard.
It was on a Sunday morning and I was in sixth, maybe seventh grade CCD (Sunday School). It was a quiet moment during Catechism class. We were left alone and my friend David* and I got to talking.
*You may remember David as the person I tried to dump my role as Jesus in the Passion Play onto.
I don’t remember what we were talking about to bring it up, but David told me about an experience he had at a public swimming pool:
“I watched a kid almost drown because another kid told him that the bottom of the pool smelled like strawberries.”
Almost immediately, I burst into a fit of laughter, which was contagiously picked up by David. For a very long time, we just sat there. Laughing hysterically.
Looking back, I find it tragic that I have only had a few of these intense laughing experiences. Where it isn’t laughing as it is traditionally known, but rather wheezing in a long, never-ending exhale that continues even after there is nothing left to exhale.
David found a gap of sanity in which he was able to speak, and chose to fill it with the repeated words, “And he almost died!” and we once again burst into uncontrollable laughter.
Now, as I write this, I am realizing that it sounds somewhat harsh. I suppose it might seem cruel to be laughing, especially so hard, at a child who almost drowned to death, especially while sitting in Catechism class.
But when David told me about it, I think it was acceptable to laugh because of the key world “almost,” which implies that the kid made it through the ordeal and lived happily ever after, perhaps laughing about it for years to come. Maybe even contributing his experience to Yahoo! Answers.
And I think that it is okay that I still chuckle to myself when thinking about it as an adult because, well… it’s just so funny. David’s one-sentence story told a much larger story, saturated with punch lines.
It is not the fact that the kid almost died. It is the fact that he fell for it.
See, it’s not even the fact that he fell for it. It is the idea that there is nothing to fall for. The creator of the concept that the bottom of the pool smells like strawberries almost certainly said such a thing, not to trick anyone, but simply because it was a funny concept.
A similar concept that comes to mind is when someone suggests that I put my bottom lip over my head and swallow.
Someone telling me this results in a brief thought bubble of comical delight. I momentarily envision a cartoonish version of myself using my hands to help stretch my imaginary rubber-like bottom lip over my forehead, over my scalp. Then, taking an enormous gulp, I swallow myself into a giant chin, and then into a poof of nothingness.
Someone taking a whiff of the bottom of the pool has a similar implication of impossibility that it must also be envisioned in a cartoon-like manner. It is something that Daffy Duck might do, but never anyone real. Not even a stupid kid.
Whether you are told to put your bottom lip over your head and swallow or to smell the bottom of the pool for strawberries, you are essentially being told to reach your ultimate demise. But you are not being told to do so maliciously. The person who told you to do such a thing doesn’t hate you, but respects you. Otherwise they would have told you something much more pointedly mean. They told you to do this crazy, impossible thing to make you laugh a little bit. Additionally, they respect your intelligence enough to know that you won’t actually attempt such a feat.
Which is why I am certain that after being told one of these things, nobody… nobody… in all of human existence began touching and pulling at their bottom lip, testing its elasticity.
And that was the glorious bonus of David’s story. That it included someone who actually had such an unquenchable curiosity and desire to smell the fresh scent of strawberries, that it drove him to dive to the bottom of the pool and inhale.
And I guess the reason that I fancy this story so much is the fact that no matter what stupid, idiotic, or reckless action I ever take in my life, I will have never almost drowned because someone told me that the bottom of the pool smelled like strawberries.
That, as well as the fact that I will never have to rely on Yahoo! Answers to tell me how to prank people.
Because their suggestions aren’t terribly helpful: