Did you hear the joke about the girl with cancer who may have to have one of her breasts removed?
Or how about the one about the guy with MS who lost his vision in one eye?
And of course there is always the classic joke about the woman with dementia who doesn’t even recognize her own family.
I mean…c’mon…these are serious knee-slappers. Where is your sense of humor??
What’s that? You’ve never heard these jokes before.
Oh…ok…I think I know why. Because they don’t exist.
Why don’t they exist? Because while it’s totally ok to laugh at your own misfortune (and lord knows I do often), making jokes about other people’s diseases is just plain cruel and idiotic and the most seasoned comedians know where to draw the line.
But alas, the world is not filled with seasoned comedians. It’s filled with people who think they are funny, but in reality, they’re just jerks.
A good sense of humor is the key to a happy life. But where do you draw the line when “gluten-free” has become a punchline?
Cases in point:
- Pat Sajak opened up the 31st season of Wheel of Fortune by saying “starting this year for the 1st time, every episode of Wheel of Fortune is gluten-free.” (Note to Pat: Anybody that hosts a ridiculous game show for more than three decades is off the table for making fun of ANYTHING else.)
- There was a very popular Huff Post article a few days ago called “Surviving Whole Foods”. It was actually good stuff. But one of her stingers was “Next I see the gluten-free section filled with crackers and bread made from various wheat-substitutes such as cardboard and sawdust. I skip this aisle because I’m not rich enough to have dietary restrictions. Ever notice that you don’t meet poor people with special diet needs? A gluten intolerant house cleaner?”
- There is a GEICO commercial out now that says “We have a special discount for people who are gluten free. Just kidding.”
- And don’t get me started on Twitter, where the lame gluten-free and celiac jokes are flying all over the place.
But here’s the deal. I get it. I get why people are making jokes.
For the most part, it’s not because they think celiac disease is funny. Sure…there are the few uneducated trolls who think celiac is some made-up fad disease du jour. But for the most part, those are few and far between.
And yes, while I got railed at for slamming gluten-free Twinkies, don’t you see that the food companies, many of whom have totally jumped on the bandwagon not because they give a rats ass about our health but because they have visions of dollar signs dancing in their heads, have added to the joke that is gluten-free as well?
Look…I joke about our disease and being gluten-free all the time. It’s therapy for me. But I HAVE the disease.
But if you aren’t gluten-free for medical reasons, your jokes are making it that much more difficult for us to be taken seriously.
You want to make fun of the fad dieters? Have at ‘em.
You want to make fun of the people who just can’t stop telling everyone about their gluten free diet? Fair game.
You want to make fun of the companies charging $10 for a loaf of gluten-free bread the size of my cell phone? I’m all for it.
But please, I’m begging you; lay off the generic gluten-free jokes. And absolutely no jokes about celiac being a rich person’s disease.
Being a celiac and eatng gluten-free as a medical necessity sucks…plain and simple…and there’s just nothing that funny about it.
You want to make a joke about something worthwhile? There is a new Hollywood diet called the M-Plan. You swap out your regular lunch or dinner with a mushroom-focused dish for 14 days and you magically lose weight.
Now that’s funny!!!