Prologue: It has been said (with good reason) that being poor is never funny. In any form and on any of the various levels, the face of extreme income inequality is ugly, frightening, and disturbing. Anyone who has had a serious conversation with me today knows how real that is for me. AND at the same time I have seen people with much less than myself find a deeper appreciation and gratitude for every small pleasures. Thusly, when a friend of mine that recently changed his job made the post “I think I’m just one of those people that is meant to be so broke it isn’t funny. -Defeated-” I felt moved to rant at him with advice about how to change his situation or cheesy optimism to never give up. However when I started typing I thought– wait– when IS being poor funny?!? I messaged people on my friends group who I recalled having experience with any level of poverty and asked them to help me write the following punchlines. Only one person responded negatively. The rest, I believe, have moved past the shame and fear of poverty. I think this is a KEY element to actually surviving and/or getting out of poverty. I’m not a professional comedian. But I know how to construct a joke. Here’s hopin you get at least a little chuckle. If you can’t chuckle and its too real, please message me and I would be happy to hear your troubles relating to this subject. That’s all we can do. Laugh it out, talk it out, and keep our heads held high.
Being poor is “funny” when:
- You are an American.
- Your house is so infested with mice that they start actin gangster. They don’t scurry. They just stroll in and look at you like, “Bitch, what?”(sic**)
- You are the first born. That means you get to watch your siblings walk around in ill-fitting hand-me-downs. Saggin’ wasn’t always a fashion statement. Then again, neither were high-water pants or gender-bending.
- You are the last born. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I’ve got saggy, short-long pants and nothing to lose. No, you are not in charge!
- A car dealer sells you a “diamond” on the lot that seems like a “lemon” on the way home and by the end of the week it actually turns out to be a roasted dog turd on stick.*
- The youngest kids got excited when they got fat because it meant they get new clothes. Party at the Goodwill!
- The roaches in your walls have a retirement community and their Saturday night involves creeping out the locals. For those of you with no internet/cable: watch them like a soap opera with your friends. (Who are a probably cat with 1 ear/no tail, a crazy old lady landlord who calls you Jimmy, ….)***
You *finally* get your foodstamp benefits after waiting in a room full of equally depressed and downtrodden people, chasing down former bosses for paperwork, dropping all of it in the rain, hunting down a stamp, missing the deadline because you ended up having to work for 7 days straight at min wage so you don’t starve, and then applying 2 more times so you are basically living off of rice (can’t afford beans). Did I say funny? I meant awe inspiring. I (erm, you) CAN BUY FRESH VEGETABLES NOW! :O
You won’t buy fresh vegetables, because you don’t have that much money and you KNOW they wont last long enough to eat them all (partially because of the poverty diet http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-5-stupidest-habits-you-develop-growing-up-poor_p2/ )
You look forward to “2nd Christmas” aka “Tax Return Season” aka “Buy a bunch of presents and pretend we are rich because we probably never will be and instead die a slow painful poverty factory/service job death Season” and subsequently all months with 3 paydays because you WILL be going out! Probably for pizza or burgers.
I will continue to update these if suggestions come in. If you know me, message me on facebook. If you don’t know me, make a comment because I have no idea how this inbox works. So basically, message me on Facebook.
Hugs n Kisses ! Thanks for being bored enough to read this!
*inspired by a real life story of one of my friends
** the mouse said it, not me! I have evolved past the B-word, not reclaiming it. :p
***my sister is funny sometimes too and she wrote that sentence.