GALLOWS HUMOR …
We lost another member of our AA community recently but, happily, he didn’t die from alcoholism. As a matter of fact he enjoyed 24 sober years and died in his 70’s.
One of the things that I loved about Bill was his dry sense of humor. He was a master at Gallows Humor … “the macabre humor that finds irony or comedy in serious matters“, such as in an alcoholic past. It is used often in AA and my favorite example of it is the following …
The man who told this tale on himself was in his 60’s and quite attractive. You could just imagine how he would have looked in his younger years and I’m sure that a huge ego was part of his makeup then too.
His work entailed a lot of traveling and he liked this since he could drink to his heart's content with no family around to censor him. This particular morning that he relates to he woke in his motel with a HUGE hangover. He groaned as he remembered that he had an appointment that afternoon with an important client. He knew he had to pull himself together or risk losing his job.
He splashed cold water on his face, took 4 or 5 aspirins, combed his hair and headed to the nearest drugstore. He’d decided to tell the druggist that he felt “flu-like” and surely he would give him something that would ease the pain.
As he was waiting in line to be served he felt a tug on his sleeve and looking down he saw a little old lady gazing intently at him. “Excuse me, sir”, she said, “but I just have to ask you. Are you Richard Burton?”
WOW… Was he ever pleased. Maybe he didn’t look so bad after all. Puffing himself up and, smiling sweetly he answered, “Why thank you so much for the compliment, but no, I am not Richard Burton. However I am curious. What is it about me that made you think that?”
At which point she motioned for him to bend down lower and she whispered in his ear …“He was a drunk, too, you know !”