Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Monday, August 6, 2018


I love satire and sarcasm. Our daughters say, “You just can’t resist the sarcastic response, can you?” They even gave me a t-shirt that says

National Sarcasm Society
Like we need your support

It’s some kind of psychological failing The psychologytoday web site says that sarcasm is indirectly expressing aggression toward others and insecurity about one’s self.

Yeah, like psychologytoday knows anything about psychology.

Yeah, like we didn’t already know that.

I learned early that sarcasm can get you into trouble, especially if you try it on your mother or father. So why did I keep on with it? I’m not sure.

Part of it is being a guy. At our 55 year high school reunion, as Kenny talked about his upcoming sixth knee operation, I told him that now he would have more knee operations than ex-wives. [1] Guys just talk to one another that way. Like Jesus did to Peter when he said, “Get behind me, Satan.” Satan-that’s a neat nickname for a buddy.

In fact, Jesus used sarcasm himself. “Why do you try to get the little piece of sawdust out of somebody else’s eye when you’ve got a 2x4 sticking out of your own eye?” I know that the risen Christ has no gender, but the historical Jesus does. No locker-room talk, but he liked to zing a friend once in a while.

But women can be sarcastic, too, so maybe it’s that “insecurity about self” thing. Security within one’s own self is a good thing. I’d hate to get so secure that I’d have to give up sarcasm, though. Especially about myself.

Yeah, self, like you think you know a lot about communication when you can’t figure out what comes after “How are you?” when you meet someone on the street.

So what’s the point of this reflection? I don’t know. I started this column a long time ago and it just resurfaced and I hate to do all this writing and not make somebody else read it.

Sometimes, sarcasm is just the best way to communicate. Lutheran Pastor Rebecca Ninke says that this column is better since I quit writing. That tells me more about self-security than any other way she might have put it.


1] That may not have been accurate. Kenny has LOTS of ex-wives. As he said at our 25 year reunion, “I’ve been married for 20 years, but none of them are here.” That pattern continued. Kenny is truly a nice guy, an excellent Gospel singer, but too handsome for his own good. But comparing his knee operations to his ex-wives is probably an example of going too far with sarcasm.

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