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Pick up the 7 Up

So much of life is devoted to "what is funny" and "what is ain't." It's true, isn't it? How many times have you thought of a truly heee-larious gag, but stopped short because there was a hippie nearby just waiting to pounce if you supplied the punch line that was begging to be said? For example, let's say a hippie has been attending meetings to deal with excessive marijuana usage. And maybe your friends are so concerned about him smoking pot, they're considering hiding his stash. Now, sure--it may be insensitive to the person in question, but isn't it your duty to the other people in the room to blurt out, "Why don't you hide it under a bar of SOAP? He'll never find it there!!"

Of course, after cracking up at least one person in the room (yourself) with that gut-buster, you may still be accused of being insensitive to (a) people suffering from addictions, (b) our brothers and sisters of the earth (that would be hippies), and (c) maybe even soap companies. But you know? SO FAWKING WHAT. All three of those things are funny--especially the drug addiction one--because without exception (and you might want to write this down) "humor trumps tragedy."

Example! Anal sex is always funny. Why? Because it contains two aspects of the "holy trinity of comedy": the pee-pee and the poo-poo. And the 7 Up company was correct to recognize this fact when it conceived of a commercial that would send its spokesman, Godfrey, into prison. In the spot, he's walking down a row of cells handing out cans of 7 Up to the prisoners when he accidentally drops one. Naturally, he pauses and says, "I'm not picking that up." Okay, it's not gut-busting, but look! 7 Up is making an anal-sex joke!

Later in the same commercial, while sitting next to a burly con, Godfrey says, "When you drink 7 Up, everyone is your friend." The burly con puts his arm around Godfrey, who squeaks, "Okay, that's enough being friends." Bada-BING! Another anal-sex joke! Apparently, however, one convicts' awareness group doesn't think anal sex is funny, because it convinced 7 Up to pull the ad off the air.

"This commercial was perpetuating the kind of callousness that allows sexual abuse to continue in so many prisons virtually unchecked," says the group's executive director, Lara Stemple. HUH? Now while I'll admit I may have used anal sex in a "callous" manner once or twice, not all anal sex in prison is "sexual abuse." And if you ask me, our man Godfrey wasn't trumpeting the virtues of prison rape--it was more like he was just another straight-laced butt-o-phobe who doesn't like the idea of getting poked in the poo-poo with a pee-pee. And to me, those guys are FUNNY!

Anyhoo, there's nothing more pathetic than apologizing for a joke, so at this point there's nothing 7 Up can do. Unless, of course, its next commercial has the spokesman picking a can of soda off the floor of a jail cell, proclaiming, "7 Up: a proud sponsor of consensual anal sex." See? Now that's funny AND sensitive!

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