10. The wild turkey. Not the drink, the bird. I mean, a football on legs with a featherless head for a handle? You gotta have a sense of humor to create that. Well, OK, the ostrich. The only creature more bizarre looking than the wild turkey. And penguins, the marriage of formal attire and comic gait is clearly the work of someone with a sense of humor.
9. The life cycle of the praying mantis. (Actually, that might be proof that God is female . . . . )
8. The noises that stomachs make when digesting food. Not quite as high-pitched as whale songs, but just as surreal.
7. The idea of Celebrity. People who are well known for being well known, who are followed for being followed. I mean, I was in the supermarket checkout line a month ago, and there was Lady Gaga the magazine. Wow. Tied with Fashion.
6. Electronics, our umbilical cords to a wider world—and the wired cages in which we are trapped, preventing us from experiencing the real world; the key to a vast repository of knowledge hidden beneath endless YouTubes; the information-entertainment-communication media on which we depend which works or doesn’t on the basis of an implacable whim that does not respond to sacrificial offerings or ritual observances, that taunts us with compatibility issues, and that sacrifices us on the altar of upgrades.
5. Jane Austen, Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, Mark Harris; Will Rogers, Stan Freberg, Tom Lehrer, politicians (sigh); Charles Schultz, Garry Trudeau; the Marx Brothers, Mel Brooks, Some Like It Hot, Rosalind Russell, Tracy and Hepburn, Cary Grant, Hugh Grant, and Lou Grant (in Mary Tyler Moore, not Lou Grant); George Carlin; Dr. Seuss, Bugs Bunny, the Roadrunner, the Animaniacs; Laugh-in, SNL, and many, many more (these were just off the top of my head).
4. Babies. God takes all of our seriousness of purpose and prideful demeanor and devotion to ephemera as though jobs or status or dignity were really, really important and puts a baby in front of us and all we can do is coo and gurgle and smile and act like complete idiots. Precious cosmic irony there.
3. The differential stimuli for and rate of arousal for men and women. (Turns out that that sense of humor was a wicked one.)
2. The Tenth Commandment (or Ninth and Tenth, depending on how you learned them). No coveting? Humans are a mass of coveting.
1. The First Commandment. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me”? Ha! Talk about setting humanity up for a fall!
Words © 2011 AtHome Pilgrim.
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