Random Chuckles

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I heard a story recently that gave me a chuckle and if there were any way I could claim it as my own, I certainly would, but I can’t pull off the required Scottish accent. I’d actually heard this classic a couple years ago and had forgotten about it until the recent retell. 

It reminded me how some things and stories become common knowledge and live on, while others — equally deserving — just fade away. Others live on but to a too small audience. (I’m doing my part to expand the audience to my 10 readers). Others, like the one I heard, you just forget. Anyway, some of you know this one that involved Bono, the lead singer of the band U2 and a noted philanthropist.

It’s genius in so many ways. We’ve all rolled our eyes as athletes and movie stars and musicians sometimes lecture us about what’s wrong with the world. They’ve got the right, I suppose. And they often say they have the forum and they’re obligated to speak up about whatever is their cause. So, we roll our eyes and maybe even boo, but few have responded like a Scotsman who hit it out of the park, way out of the park, a few years ago when he delivered a retort that lives on in the Snark Hall of Fame.

At a U2 concert in Glasgow, Scotland, the aforementioned Bono asked the audience for total quiet, as he wanted to draw attention to starvation and poor medical services in Africa. Then, in the silence, he started to slowly clap his hands, once every few seconds, holding the audience in total silence. And then leaned toward the microphone and said solemnly, “Every time I clap my hands, a child in Africa dies.”

The crowd remained quiet, maybe a little depressed, until the voice with the Scottish broke the silence. "Well, stop clapping, ya evil bastard!"

Goodbye silence. Church giggles gave way to guffaws. The guy broke the tension in the air, ridiculed the sanctimonious rock star, and had the nerve to yell out something that might have gotten him beat up. It woulda been funny enough if the guy just said, “Well, stop clapping,” but adding “ya evil bastard,” made it Hall of Fame.

Hehe. Ya evil bastard. 

Not even in the same league, but I was thinking of how funny things can pop into your head out of nowhere, memories of something funny or even silly. You might just laugh suddenly and somebody nearby will ask what’s so funny? You might share but more likely you say nothing because it’s too random or they won’t appreciate it.

I know more than one person who will, randomly, think of a scene from Family Feud with Steve Harvey and just start cackling.

The show is notorious for some of the things people say. One segment cracks the funny bone of some people every time they think of it. Contestants were asked to say a thing that follows the word “Pork” as in Pork Belly or Pork and beans or Pork ribs. 

Well, one contestant was asked – what word follows Pork? -  and what was his completely serious response? “Cupine.” (Sounds like Q-pine).

Cupine. As in Pork-Cupine.

Here’s hoping the evil bastard and the Cupine stories live on.

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