I’ll admit it, I love absurd humor. The kind that makes your brain relax and stop taking the world so literally. The kind where you could never have known where the punch line was coming from, because it’s not that kind of joke. A lot of comics have done it well through the years, but one of my favorites was a comedian named Mitch Hedberg, a hilarious guy who died way too young. Here are a few of his jokes. Some of you will love them, some of you will hate them. I definitely fall into the “love ’em” camp…
“I had a stick of CareFree gum, but it didn't work. I felt pretty good while I was blowing that bubble, but as soon as the gum lost its flavor, I was back to pondering my mortality.”
“I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're going and hook up with them later.”
“I hate turkeys. If you stand in the meat section at the grocery store long enough, you start to get mad at turkeys. There's turkey ham, turkey bologna, turkey pastrami…Someone needs to tell the turkey, ‘Man, just be yourself.’”
“At my hotel room, my friend came over and asked to use the phone. I said, ‘Certainly.’ He said, ‘Do I need to dial 9?’ I say, ‘Yeah. Especially if it's in the number. You can try four and five back to back real quick.’”
“I once saw a forklift lift a crate of forks. And it was way too literal for me.”
“My belt holds my pants up, but the belt loops hold my belt up. So which ones the real hero?”
“I was at this casino minding my own business, and this guy came up to me and said, ‘You're gonna have to move; you're blocking a fire exit.’ As though if there was a fire, I wasn't gonna run. If you're flammable and have legs, you are never blocking a fire exit.”
“An escalator can never break: it can only become stairs. You would never see an Escalator Temporarily Out Of Order sign. It would say Escalator Temporarily Stairs. Sorry for the convenience.”
That last one is particularly appropriate for our passage this Sunday. That’s where Jesus points out something that would be just as absurd as an escalator that quits being an escalator. He talks about salt that quits being salt.
The good news is there’s something to be done about it.